Personal finance education in U.S. schools


An article on Consumerist today, Report Card on Personal Finance Education Nationwide stirred up memories for me. The article was prompted by the decision in Tennessee last week to require a personal finance class for all graduating high school students, starting with this year's 7th graders. This is a decision that adds Tennessee to a list of LESS THAN 20% of states that currently have a personal finance education requirement.

Through most of last year, I listened to my son, then a high school senior, rant and rave about the curriculum at his high school. The school requires four years of a foreign language (and at the time there were only two choices, French or Latin) but, you guessed it, not an hour in the curriculum on personal finance. What this means is that students might graduate proficient in translating the Aeneid, but knowing essentially nothing about compounding, investing, stocks and bonds, mortgages etc. Huh?

It's hard to believe that in all of New England, the only state that seemed to actually require financial literacy is the State of Maine.

The Consumerist article includes a map so that you can see where your state stands. Consider sending an email to your superintendent's office.