How many classes do you remember taking in high school about personal finances? I’m talking about lessons in basic skills here, how to balance a checkbook, learning what credit is, even understanding the value of saving money day by day. Astonishingly enough, only 13 states within the U.S. have laws requiring students to take a class on personal finances in order to graduate from high school. Am I the only one who thinks that’s crazy? With the state of the U.S.’s economic situation these days, the mounds of debt that American citizens are buried under, and the ridiculous student loan problem I am personally pretty disgusted that states are not putting more of an emphasis on teaching kids about finances at a young level so that they can potentially avoid their own mishaps in the future. Daniel Bortz of U.S. News wrote a great article highlighting this very problem, and I am compelled to pass it along and encourage others to make a stink about it:
“High school students are studying up on calculus, advanced chemistry, and world history, but most aren’t learning fundamental money lessons to help them financially navigate the real world.
Such is the case with Jessica Pollack’s son Adam, an 18-year-old who graduated in May from Los Alamitos High School in Orange County, California. Much to Jessica’s chagrin, the school doesn’t require its students to take a personal-finance class to graduate. “It’s a top-rated school, but there is no personal-finance requirement, which is just astonishing to me,” Jessica says. “There’s a technology requirement that’s statewide. As a technology teacher, I appreciate that, but these kids are exposed to computers and technology all the time. Yet when it comes to buying the computer and financing it, they’re clueless.” “
Click here to read the barriers that are preventing financial education classes from being mainstream in U.S. high schools.
I won’t jump into my rant again, but I will end by saying that I believe that smart money knowledge needs to be instilled at a young level, something that can be done in school and at home. We need to all buck up and take some more responsibility for molding young people’s minds and teaching them the right things.