Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

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Personal Finance

Personal Finance Standards

The Arkansas State Board of Education has approved the necessary personal finance standards to meet the requirements of ACT 480.  Beginning with the freshmen class of 2017-18, this act requires students to complete a course that includes specific personal finance standards in either grades 10, 11 or 12.  

Approved Courses

The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) and Arkansas Career Education (ARCareerEd) have aligned and embedded the new standards in existing courses to assist districts with implementation.  If a district chooses to use one of the following revised courses, no course approval will be needed:
  • Financial Literacy (491990) - .5 Career Focus credit
  • Quantitative Literacy (439120) (DOCX) (PDF) - 1 full credit in math
  • ADE Approved AP Macro Economics and Personal Finance (579130) - .5 credit in economics
  • ADE Approved AP Micro Economics and Personal Finance (579140) - .5 credit in economics
  • Economics* (474300) (DOCX) (PDF) - .5 credit in social studies or Career Focus credit
  • NEW Course: Financial Planning and Wealth Management - 1.5 credits (1 Career Focus and .5 economics) Embedded course code to come.

*Districts that Choose Economics to meet Act 480

The personal finance standards must be taught in either grade 10, 11, or 12 to satisfy the intent of Act 480.  If a school is currently teaching Economics in 9th grade as a social studies credit, then careful consideration will need to be given to the order of social studies courses used for graduation credit.
The following are possible options a district might consider:
  • Move Economics to grade 12. There is no impact on other social studies graduation requirements.
  • Move Economics to grade 10 or 11.
      • Option 1 – have 2 social studies graduation requirements in a single grade level
        - (U.S. History since 1890 or World History since 1450 and 1 semester of Economics)
      • Option 2 – move the U.S. History since 1890 course to grade 9
        - U.S. History 1800-1900 (grade 8) and U.S. History since 1890 will be back to back courses
        - move Civics/Economics to grade 11 or 12.
      • Option 3 – move the World History since 1450 course to grade 9
        - move Civics/Economics to grade 10.

Embedding Standards in Additional Courses

Should districts decide to embed the personal finance standards into an existing approved  course other than those mentioned above, a course approval request should be submitted to the Office of Curriculum Support Services for review and approval. All course approval requests should be submitted no later than May 1, 2018. All course approvals should be submitted through the online Course Approval System found here ( 

2017-18 Freshmen

Although the current freshman class may have already completed an economic or financial literacy course for credit, the legislation does not allow any course completed in 9th grade to fulfill the requirements of Act 480. 
As districts are evaluating the possible implementation options for future graduates it may be necessary to create an alternate plan for the 2017-18 freshmen class. It is important to remember that this is a graduation requirement and cannot be waived.

Professional Development Opportunities

The following professional development courses are available via ArkansasIDEAS.  For assistance with your ArkansasIDEAS account please visit or contact the ArkansasIDEAS Help Desk at 1-800-488-6689.
Course ID Course Title Credit
CTM17081 Financial Literacy Unit One: Money, Budgeting, and Banking 2.5
CTM17082 Financial Literacy Unit Two: Credit 2.5
CTM17083 Financial Literacy Unit Three: Insurance 2
CTM17084 Financial Literacy Unit Four: Investing 1.5
CTM17085 Financial Literacy Unit Five: Money Management and Financial Planning 1.5

Teacher Resources

YouTube Channel suggestions.
Wisconson Public Television Education Channel:  Financial Literacy: Teach It!  playlist
Wisconson Public Television Education Channel: Money Moments playlist

For more information, please contact:

Melissa Starkey
Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Learning Services
Four Capitol Mall, Room 202-B
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: 501-682-6584
Tim Johnston
Arkansas Department of Career Education
Curriculum and Career Guidance
Luther S. Hardin Building
Three Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-683-5970 (Phone)
501-682-1026 (Fax)

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