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Middle school students in New Jersey are about to get a much needed crash course in adulting thanks in part to two black women determined to make sure they have the tools they need to succeed. Assemblywoman Angela McKnight and financial educator Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche worked together to draft and advocate a financial literacy bill that would give kids a fighting chance at the future.

A1414, will instruct the State Board of Education to require school districts to incorporate financial literacy instruction into curriculums for enrolled students in grades 6 through 8.

First introduced by McKnight in 2016, the bill was signed into law by the state’s Acting Governor (and first ever black Lieutenant Governor) Sheila Oliver this Thursday at Jersey City’s PS 34 President Barack Obama School. It was the culmination of three years of hard work on the part of McKnight and Aliche, who used her considerable platforms to assist with getting the word out.

“Early financial literacy should be an essential part of every school curriculum, because it’s a critical skill needed for success in adulthood,” said Aliche via press release. She shared portions of the signing ceremony with her community on social media, unable to contain her excitement. “Today New Jersey took a historic leap forward in helping our children secure a brighter future. Today was a manifestation of why I started The Budgetnista; to help give people the tools the need to live richer lives,” she continued.

Mcknight’s fellow Assembly Democrats Nicholas Chiaravalloti, Eliana Pintor Marin, Jamel Holley, Benjie Wimberly and Annette Quijano served as co-sponsors for the bill as well lending their legislative support.

While widely respected novels about opulent liars with questionable boundaries and near obsolete mathematical principles that have never shown up on the form to file an LLC have reigned supreme in the primary educational sphere, but not pratical financial information is being moved to the forefront. Information about things like the practical value of compound interest, or why it might not be the best idea to buy all those sweatshirts at the bookstore with your student loan disbursement check has been harder to find…but this bill helps to change all of this. 

This law presents children with vital information that has the potential to change the course of their lives by preparing them to properly evaluate their finances and deal with debt as adults.  

Regarding the bill, McKnight told Hello Beautiful, “One of the most important lessons a person can learn is how to manage their money. Many young people go into adulthood knowing little about finances, and end up making decisions that cost them in the long run.” She added, “Teaching our kids early about the importance of managing their money and making sound financial decisions can prevent them from making costly mistakes and set them on the right financial path.”

Hopefully, this bill will spread to multiple states.


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