New Law Would Require Financial Literacy Classes in Texas Schools
My friends and I often lament the fact that we weren't taught about money management in school. A few were taught about investing, saving, applying for mortgages, etc. by their parents, but some of us weren't so fortunate.
A class giving us some idea of what to expect when we entered the workforce and were responsible for our own finances would have been incredibly beneficial.
One Texas lawmaker is hoping to make it mandatory that such a class be taught in our state's high schools.
House Bill 1182, introduced by Representative Vikki Goodwin of Austin, would make a financial literacy course mandatory for all Texas high school students.
KXAN-TV reports that Goodwin worked as a realtor before entering politics. She says she met several people who were unable to purchase a home because of the state of their credit, and hopes that her legislation would help more young adults become financially stable and successful.
As you can tell from my preamble, I wholeheartedly support this legislation. The closest thing we had to any financial education in my school was a couple of weeks spent playing an investment simulation game on the computer with little instruction or insight. Honestly, most of us had absolutely no clue what we were doing. It was a complete joke.
One thing that bugs me a little about the legislation is this language:
The instruction in personal financial literacy must include instruction on completing the application for federal student aid provided by the United States Department of Education.
I understand why that would be an important topic to discuss, but I would hope teachers would be careful to teach their pupils not to borrow more than they absolutely need and not to treat their students loans like free money. Far too many people these days are stuck in student debt hell because they were suddenly having money practically thrown at them and were too young and naive to use it wisely.
I would also hope instructors would emphasize that not everyone has to attend a liberal arts college, and that a trade school education is a fantastic investment these days. When I was a dumb high school kid, the idea that everyone needed to get an expensive college degree was drilled into my head.
What do you think of the idea of mandatory financial literacy courses in our high schools? Sound off in the comments.