New Mexico social studies rule adds personal finance to K-12

SANTA FE, NM (AP) — The New Mexico Department of Public Education released a final rule structuring the K-12 social studies curriculum, adding personal finance following a letter-writing campaign .

The new rule announced Wednesday will revise the standards for history, economics and civics classes in New Mexico public schools. The changes follow a 17-month process in which state officials reviewed teacher-drafted projects and public comment.

The revised and final standards preserve terms such as “systemic privilege or inequity” and emphasize race and ethnicity that opponents have equated with “critical race theory.” Proponents of the new standards say they better represent New Mexico’s diversity and will be more engaging to more students.

In a twist, the standards created new sections dedicated to personal finance after an education policy think tank led to hundreds of people writing in support of the idea.

Spearheading the effort was Abenicio Baldonado, director of education reform for Think New Mexico. He called the changes “an important first step in tackling intergenerational poverty”.

Local school districts are required to implement the new social studies standards starting in fall 2023, although some will begin this year. Districts have broad authority over how classes are structured and what books and instructional materials are used.


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