Financial Literacy: A Must-Have High School Curriculum

The absence of financial education in high school curricula is a glaring omission in preparing students for adulthood. This shortcoming is especially troubling given the financial challenges and decisions that await them after graduation. The realization that schools, including institutions like Summit Denali, have abandoned or neglected such important courses is surprising and disappointing.

The argument in favor of incorporating financial literacy into schooling is simple: it equips students with the basic knowledge needed to effectively navigate the financial landscape in adulthood. This includes understanding taxes, managing credit, and significant purchases such as real estate that are inevitable aspects of adulthood.

The Importance of Financial Education

A financial literacy course, often referred to as an “adult” course, is not just another subject, but an essential life skill. It offers practical knowledge that is often underrepresented in traditional curricula that focus on theoretical knowledge with limited real-world application. The need for this education is affirmed by both students and educators who recognize its value in developing financial independence and responsibility.

The impact of financial education goes beyond personal money management. It can address broader economic issues, such as the alarming levels of debt among Millennials, which have significant implications for individual well-being and the economy as a whole. A well-designed curriculum can prevent such financial pitfalls by encouraging informed decision-making and responsible borrowing.

Curriculum Considerations

An ideal financial literacy program should cover important topics such as filling out tax returns, using credit cards, and the intricacies of buying real estate. By simulating real-life financial scenarios and integrating project-based learning, students can gain hands-on experience that will prepare them to make future financial decisions. Regular assessments and feedback mechanisms, such as mid-year surveys, will help ensure that the course is meeting its objectives and fulfilling students’ learning needs.

Implementation Strategies

While the importance of financial literacy is undeniable, its integration into the high school curriculum requires careful consideration. Making it a required elective strikes a balance, allowing students to prioritize their learning without sacrificing other academic or extracurricular interests. This approach acknowledges the diverse interests and future plans of students, ensuring that financial literacy education is accessible without being burdensome.

A Forward-Looking Approach

Making financial literacy a mandatory elective in secondary schools is not just an educational reform, it is a necessary investment in the future of our youth.

By giving students the tools and knowledge to effectively manage their finances, we are laying the foundation for a more informed, responsible and financially stable generation.

By standing on the threshold of adulthood with financial knowledge, students will be better prepared to navigate the complexities of the financial world with confidence and competence.