Having done all of my formal schooling in New Jersey, some of it more successful than the rest, I was excited to see a short story in NJ’s Daily Record about a bill passing through the NJ State Senate that would require basic financial skills to be taught in High Schools.
This is sorely needed in all public schools. Too many graduates don’t know how to write a check, balance a checkbook, deal with credit card bills, or what goes on when buying a house. All of those topics, and hopefully more, would be included in the proposed classes.
The State Legislature Web site has multiple bills with similar titles, but I believe this is the core of the matter:
The goal of the pilot program will be to ensure that high school graduates in the pilot districts receive instruction on budgeting, savings and investment, credit card debt, and other issues associated with personal financial responsibility. At the conclusion of the pilot program, the commissioner will report to the Governor and the Legislature on the feasibility of implementing the program on a Statewide basis.
Many of the comments on the Daily Record story are concerned with overloading the curriculum and/or extending the school day. Some have questioned whether the new class should replace Home Economics.
This is Home Economics. In my Home Economics class, we learned how to make pancakes and pillows. I would be much better off having learned to balance a checkbook. Besides, my Home Economics class was in 6th grade, and these new classes would be in High School. I recommend using “Finance 101″ to replace European History.
Updated December 20, 2011 and originally published January 27, 2009. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.