Personal Finance In Education

iboy daniel
photo by iboy daniel

The post began as a rant, I happened across an article from Great Britain regarding a new requirement to provide personal finance education to all students beginning in 2011.

This made me mad that other countries are able to provide what seems like such basic life skills to their kids while our education system continues to wallow in ignorance.

I began searching the web for information and statistics to support the need for the personal finance education finding a couple of great blog posts such as FreeMoneyFinance‘s post on how little most of the middle class has saved, and an older post by Bible Money Matters on whether classes in school should be mandatory.

My own anecdotal evidence through conversations with friends, fellow associates and customers leads me to believe that too few have ever been provided any real guidance.

With a country of citizens that are responsible for figuring out their own finances; (what a thrilling thing to do for most!) we are certainly destined for trouble.

During my search however, I learned that the following states actually provide some level of personal finance education:

Arizona
Colorado
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Kansas
Louisiana
Missouri
New Hampshire
New York
North Carolina|
Ohio
Oklahoma
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Virginia
West Virginia

I am suddenly encouraged with the future potential of our country. We still have a long way to go; we should have a national standard for personal finance education. But it is great to see that nearly half the states in our union already have or require some level of personal finance.

Assuming we could achieve a national standard the next question is whether or not the lessons are practical and applicable. OwnTheDollar.com actually advocates that a public personal finance education is a bad idea. His point is that a teacher that is “making peanuts”, “have… debt”, and “no investments” is not qualified.

The writer of OwnTheDollar must  also be a Georgia resident as he refers to his wife teaching in Georgia. As a parent of a Georgia public school student I can verify that the minimum effort that went towards personal finance left a lot to be desired. But it is a start!

This blog originated with the idea of sharing how eliminating muda (waste) can add to a richer, more productive and value-added life. Can you imagine a greater waste than letting our citizens live their life without basic money management skills? This is certainly a problem that will end up being a burden on our entire society.

Have you or your children received personal finance education in public education? Was it value-added?

 

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