Guest Editorial: On Personal Finance and Our Educational System

Hi everyone! Today I’m pleased to bring you a guest editorial from Patricia Briggs. Ms. Briggs has written a guest editorial for us once before, which you can find by clicking here. I hope that you enjoy Ms. Briggs’ latest contribution which starts right after this paragraph.

How to Make Personal Finance Education A More Integral Part of Our Education System

Despite the proposal creeping up numerous times by so many people over the years, there has never been a solemn attempt to include personal finance as an integral part of the high school curriculum. There is no doubt that personal finance has always been an integral part of our daily lives. Children will have more command over their finances if they grow up acquiring knowledge about personal finance while in school.

These days millions of children leave school without any knowledge of personal finance. Even, many leave the University without a single class on the banking and fractional banking system, function of the Federal Reserve, currency devaluation, compounding interest and mortgage interest. It is really awful that the education system has now become a platform for job rather than proper knowledge and entrepreneurship.

It is quite evident that some fundamental things are wrong within the system. A question might arise that in whose interest the government is not employing personal finance education in schools. Again best-selling personal finance and business author, Angie Mohr says, “At the beginning of another school year, we find once again that our kids are learning more about theory and less about practical financial concepts. Our kids can explain the Pythagorean Theorem but can’t make change from a $20 bill. They can memorize passages from Shakespeare but don’t know how to compare the value of two items in a grocery store.”

However, as a single optimistic step toward implementing personal finance education as an integral part of our education system, President Obama has declared April Financial Literacy Month after witnessing years of personal finance decline.

It is obviously a good sign that President Obama has declared April Financial Literacy Month. However, that is not going to solve the whole lot. There are still some robust steps need to be taken to ensure personal finance classes for teens about how to mange their money.

The Federal government and the state machineries should jointly take initiatives to ensure compulsory teaching of personal finance in the States. Further, the parents should also be aware of the importance of personal finances in their children’ life. If parents compel the local schools and state governments to take positive steps in this regard, there can be a positive outcome. The government must be compelled by showing examples of the poor condition of the economy and the tearing consumer-debt that resulted from the lack of knowledge of personal finance among common people.

However, some pioneer schools have already started to figure out personal finance as a subject to be taught to teens. According to a study by the national Council for Economic Education in 2009, 13 states are required at least one semester of personal finance instruction (see the requirements in your state).

Now it is time for other states to include personal finance education into their core curriculum. Further, according to a June 2010 Capital One study, 45% of high school graduates are even not ready to manage their money after their graduation.

Author’s Bio: Patricia Briggs is a guest columnist, blogger, author for various websites and communities including Oak View Law Group, CCHFA, CSCDA etc. She has completed her Post Graduation in Social Welfare from California University and is currently working with a reputed bank located in California. She loves to write articles during her free time especially on topics like bankruptcy, debt settlement services, investment opportunities, monetary policies, etc.