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OLYMPIA, Wash. – A bill to require public schools in Washington state to teach financial literacy to students died Wednesday when it failed to get out of the House Education Committee. HB2009 would have required the state Board of Education to create a model program for public schools to teach financial literacy and would have established a pilot program in as many as five school districts. The measure was supported by the Washington Credit Union League although officials there said they felt the bill had little chance of success. The bill had its first hearing Tuesday night and failed to move out of the committee. Despite that, league officials hoped the bill would begin a discussion in the Legislature about the need for a financial literacy program in schools to help counteract predatory lending practices. Mark Minickiello, league director of legislative affairs, and Sheri LeMay of O Bee Credit Union were among those testifying in favor of the bill. “A basic class in saving, budgeting, checking and the responsible use of credit can literally mean the difference between a bright financial future and a dim one,” Minickiello said. “One need only look at the continuing debate over marketing credit cards to young people to realize that an early financial education is increasingly important.” A similar bill introduced in the state Senate was killed earlier before it got to a committee. Minickiello said the league may try to get the bill introduced again next year.

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