Letter to Chancellor Banks regarding New York City’s Efforts to Promote Financial Literacy in NYC Public Schools
The Insurance Law Committee wrote a letter to Schools Chancellor Banks in support of the requirement for financial literacy education in New York State high schools. The committee writes, “Financial literacy is essential for students to be informed consumers and productive citizens.” The report highlights the current requirement is not sufficient in teaching students key topics that include, but are not limited to, understanding auto insurance policies, borrowing funds for college, and retirement accounts for their futures.
Hon. David Banks
New York City Department of Education
52 Chambers Street
New York, New York 10007
RE: Support for Required High School Course in Financial Literacy
Dear Chancellor Banks:
The New York City Bar Association (City Bar) has been engaged in advocacy efforts to support mandatory financial literacy education in New York State high schools. We applaud your public statements in support of personal financial education and for including the subject in your “Four Pillars for Building Trust in NYC Public Schools.” It is our understanding that efforts are already underway under your leadership at the Department of Education to expand financial literacy to all K-12 students. We were interested in learning more about those efforts so we could support them at the city-level and hopefully use them as a model for state-wide action.
As we know you and your staff would agree, financial literacy is essential for students to be informed consumers and productive citizens. We believe the current one-credit requirement for economics education in City high schools does not adequately teach students about– to take just a few key topics– checking, savings and retirement accounts, or how to wisely borrow for college and/or home and car ownership, or how to understand what is covered and not covered in an auto insurance policy which the law requires every car owner in New York State to have. It is our hope that the Department of Education will ultimately make a financial literacy course mandatory for all high school students (unless duly exempt) as a condition of graduation.
We would welcome the opportunity to further discuss this critical educational need with your office. We look forward to hearing from you.
Fredric Garsson, Chair
Insurance Law Committee
Daniel Weisberg, First Deputy Chancellor, NYC Dept. of Education
Liz Vladeck, General Counsel, NYC Dept. of Education
Hon. Rita Joseph, Chair, New York City Council Committee on Education
Eileen Marks-DiFabio, Director of Innovation & 21st Century Skills, NYC Dept. of Education
Carolyne V. Quintana, Deputy Chancellor of Teaching & Learning, NYC Dept. of Education
 See “Report in Support of Requiring a Personal Financial Literacy Course in NYS High Schools,” May 19, 2022, https://www.nycbar.org/reports/report-in-support-of-requiring-a-personal-financial-literacy-course-in-nys-high-schools/ (All websites last accessed on June 6, 2023); see also “2023 New York State Legislative Agenda,” Feb. 13, 2023, https://www.nycbar.org/issues/new-york-state-legislative-agenda/.
 See i.e. “Chancellor Banks Outlines Vision for Transforming and Building trust in NYC Public Schools,” March 2, 2022, https://www.schools.nyc.gov/docs/default-source/default-document-library/chancellor-david-c-banks-outlines-bold-vision.