Should voters decide what schools teach?

UC’s Amy Farley featured in Education Week on proposed California ballot measure

In an article in Education Week, University of Cincinnati education expert Amy Farley expresses concern over voter-decided cirriculum. This stems from a proposed ballot measure in California that would require a one-semester, one-credit course on personal finance, including instruction in budgeting, credit and investment. 

“We should all be concerned about the precedent of citizen-led initiatives mandating curriculum,” said Farley, an associate professor of educational leadership and policy studies in UC’s School of Education, within the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services.

Farley, who has studied the history of education-related ballot measures, told Education Week that most education questions put to a vote have related to school finance, governance and civil rights issues.

If passed, the finance education ballot measure would require all high schools, including charter schools, to offer a personal-finance course by the 2026-27 school year. Starting in 2029-30, that course would be required for students to graduate. Local school boards could choose their own curriculum to teach concepts, including the dangers of predatory lending, the tax system, establishing credit and retirement accounts.

Read the Education Week article. 

Featured image at top iStock/tiero.

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