Should We Mandate Financial Education for High Schoolers?

Financial management is a common challenge for many adults, and the reality is that most adults never receive formal education in school about any money-related topics. This includes everything from how to balance a checkbook and how investments work to what a loan is and how to reduce your tax burden. Educators are not tasked with the responsibility of providing financial management to high school teens, and this is often not even an option for most students to choose as an elective. However, there are solid reasons why this needs to be taught in high schools across the country.

Debt Is a Serious Issue

According to Forbes, most Americans have multiple credit cards with high balances on them as well as student loans, car loans and mortgage debt. While some debt is secured, all debt payments come together to create a monthly budget that is difficult for some to manage. Bankruptcy is unfortunately common across all age groups across the country. While it can give you a clean financial slate, it also can be avoided in some cases through financial education, according to

Savings Balances Are Staggeringly Low

One of the reasons why debt is such a serious issue is because savings balances are low. According to Dave Ramsey, fifty percent of Americans have less than a month of their income saved for emergencies. Some people do not even have a month or two of expenses available in a savings account. These two factors are directly correlated, but many people do not make savings a priority. They also do not know how much money they need to save or why it is even important. When debt balances are higher than savings balances, this is a sign that some aspect of the process is simply not working.

Home-ownership Rates in Young Adults Is Down

Home-ownership is a hallmark of financial health, and it also is a great way for adults to build equity that can be used later in life. Bankrate says that having a home paid free and clear is also viewed as a veritable necessity for retirement. With many young adults choosing not to buy a home or to delay this process for many years, this is another sign that some young adults do not have a firm grasp on personal finances. 

Some people state that educators are not responsible for providing financial education to young adults. Instead, they believe that this responsibility falls onto the shoulders of parents. However, with schools teaching everything from computer programming and nutrition to sewing, woodworking and more, it makes sense that something as critical as financial management would also be covered and even required before students graduate.

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