GoWest Credit Union Association, in partnership with Oregon Senate President Rob Wagner and Senate Republican leader Tim Knopp worked to introduce a life skills bill, Senate Bill 3. This bill will add one future planning credit to the state's high school curriculum and help students apply financial empowerment standards to their future.
In 2022, credit unions in Oregon provided free financial education to 17,000 children and 25,285 adults. Financial education has long been a cornerstone of credit unions' services to help members build brighter financial futures.
"Our kids are our future, and it is our responsibility to ensure they have the financial literacy skills that lead them to economic security,” said Wagner.
"We have an obligation to empower our community to thrive," said Knopp. "Ensuring our kids have the future planning skills and financial literacy to succeed once they become adults is a critical step in financial wellness and supports the economy's overall health."
Critical life skills introduced in the bill’s future planning class initiative include guidance on:
"When our credit union partners in Oregon came to us with their list of legislative priorities for the year, it was not surprising that financial education rose to the top,” said Pam Leavitt, Vice President of Regional Grassroots and Political Programs/Legislative Affairs, GoWest Credit Union Association. “The essence of the credit union movement is financial literacy. You can see their commitment through action. Collectively, Oregon Credit Unions provided free financial education to 17,000 children.”
There are currently 15 states that guarantee their high school schoolers will take at least one personal finances course. “We are confident that this bill will become law and Oregon will be the 16th state,” said Leavitt.