Consumerism Commentary reported on a financial literacy education program that would allocate $250 million dollars a year toward personal finance education in the K through 12 public school system and public colleges. The bill would provide grants to schools that want to implement the education program, but it might require that the school make it a required class for graduation. I agree with Flexo that it shouldn’t be a required course that replaces the other core classes. I know that in Florida you are required as a senior to take a semester of American Government and a semester of American Economics for graduation. I think the most logical thing to do would be to use the grant money for training economics teachers to implement the persoanl finance education into their existing course and also use the materials for teaching materials.
My main concerns with this are the teaching materials that will be used. It will be counter-productive if the schools end up buying garbage cirriculum provided by companies that are either owned or financially supported by credit card companies or large banks. These organizations only want to indoctrinate young people to borrow money and borrow even more money. The other concern that I have is the amount. Don’t get me wrong, $250 million dollars is a lot of money, but spread out over thousands of schools, I don’t know how much it will help the lack of personal financial education. Still, at least there are senators out there who recognize the need for preparing young people to manage their money better, and I am thankful that they are doing something.
My solution: I think the long-term solution to preparing young people for managing their money better is by teaching young parents to manage their money better through private financial literacy education. Parents have a huge influence on their children, and they lead more by their actions than their words. If more parents are responsible with their money, they’ll raise children who are responsible with money. What do you think the solution is to our lack of financial education in America?