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Indio High School Student Inspires Financial Literacy Act

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Indio, CA -

A Shadow Hills high school student inspired a bill that passed the California Senate on Wednesday.

High school senior Robert Ortega submitted his bill idea to Senator Jeff Stone's "There Ought to be a Law" competition, and now it has the potential to become law.

Ortega said he proposed a universal financial literacy class be mandatory for all high school students.

"I wanted to do something that would affect my generation and future generations, that would positively impact their lives. So I thought "What's something we don't know?" We don't know a lot about personal financing," Ortega said about his idea.

Ortega's teacher, who encouraged him to submit an idea, said she wasn't too surprised he won.

"I think the next day he told me very non-nonchalantly, "Oh by the way, that competition, I won," said Shauna Perrance, Ortega's teacher.

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In April, Ortega testified for his proposed legislation in Sacramento.

"We cannot deprive our students of knowledge in any subject area including financing," Ortega said at the State Capital.

Senate Bill 583, the Financial Literacy Act, passed both the Senate Education and Appropriations committees by unanimous vote. 

Perrance said she is proud of Ortega's hard work.

"He is a stellar student, works hard, takes things seriously, kind, and respectful to everybody around him," she said.

The bill still needs to be passed by the Assembly and signed by the Governor before it becomes law. 

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