As the article below indicates, our nation’s recession is pressing schools to include personal finance in their curriculum. The aim is to help students learn valuable lessons about finance and credit before they get into debt. According to the Richmond Credit Abuse Resistant Education Program, the number of 18- to 24-year- olds who declare bankruptcy has increased 96 percent over the past decade. Seventy percent of employers look at the credit histories of job candidates. In some fields, like law enforcement, bad credit means you cannot get a job.
From learning to navigate the world of 401(k)s and health-insurance choices to understanding credit scores and identity theft, today’s youths face a complicated financial world. And if that’s not enough, there’s the complex global financial structure we are just now starting to grasp. The good news is that the Advisory Council on Financial Literacy reports that forty states now require personal-finance standards for high schoolers, up from 34 in 2004. Seven states require high school students to complete a personal-finance course before graduating.
In one decade and for the first time in the world’s history, the number of people over sixty-five will be higher than the number of people who are under sixty-five. If young people today don’t learn to delay gratification, plan ahead, weigh pros and cons and learn to save for the future, it will impact more than our economic system. Schools-–and families– need these programs so that young people can learn to take charge of their financial futures and live successfuly in a global economy. We all need to take heed.
by Rachel Lebeaux
As the current economic crisis highlights the perils of money mismanagement, local educators are launching courses on personal finance alongside traditional math-curriculum mainstays like algebra, geometry, and calculus.
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