Personal Finance Courses Should Be Required in Connecticut Schools
Only 21 states require students to take a course on financial literacy. Connecticut is not one of them.
I'm not talking about playing the stock market just yet. I'm talking about balancing a checkbook, understanding a credit card and interest rates and how to budget your money. In other words, the basics of money management.
According to an article in the Register Citizen, a 2011 Schwab report showed that teens across the country are simply ill-prepared for adulthood when it comes to handling their finances. Only 17% knew what a 401K was. Only 22% understood the reality of paying taxes and only 31% understood the concept of credit card interest and fees.
I recently asked this question on I-95's FB page, "Should Connecticut high school students be required to take a personal finance course to graduate?" Most comments said, "Yes." Check out some of my favorite responses:
Sandy: I wish they taught us some life skills besides how to make baking powder bisquits.
Greg: Only after our governor graduates from the course.
Paul: If millenials took that course maybe they wouldn't be begging the government to pay their student loans.
According to an article in Forbes, the state of New Jersey has been on board with teaching middle and high school students about what they need to know in order to be successful in their chosen careers and how to achieve financial independence.
Isn't it about time Connecticut wised up and mandated basic financial literacy and economic courses as a requirement for high school graduation? I believe we owe it to our kids to help them prepare for what lies ahead in the challenging world of 'adulting.'