• Hugh F. Wynn

The Sad State of Personal Finance Education in Schools

Unfortunately, without a working knowledge of personal finance, young adults are likely to lead a completely different life than someone with personal finance knowledge.

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A recent Wall Street Journal “Letters To The Editor” missive by John F. Quilter caught my eye, which I will quote verbatim… except to add that Quilter’s suggestion should apply to all U.S. high schools, public and private, not just those in California:

California [all] schools could better educate and prepare their students for adult life if they ... introduced a mandatory course in personal finance covering such topics as managing credit, investing in fixed-income and equity instruments, managed funds and index funds, mortgages, insurance concepts, retirement accounts, income-tax matters and a host of other topics they will have to deal with as adults. This becomes even more important as Social Security becomes ever more shaky and defined-benefit pension plans fade away.

Is anyone paying attention? Apparently, not many.


According to the 2018 Survey of the States: Economic and Personal Finance Education in Our Nation’s Schoolsconducted by the Council for Economic Education (CEE), only 17 states required that high schoolers take a personal finance course. Since then only four additional states have been added to that list.


Unfortunately, without a working knowledge of personal finance, young adults are likely to lead a completely different life than someone with personal finance knowledge. Living paycheck to paycheck is a common trait of those without such knowledge. Personal finance training provides young adults with the knowledge and understanding to make smart money decisions… gain more control over their own lives… attain more empowerment to do those things that matter most to them.


Are parents or guardians of these young people paying attention to this lack of training? You should be. A member of your local Board of Education probably lives nearby – perhaps next door – might even be sitting on your living room couch watching TV. Bend an ear. Exert some pressure. Your kid will be glad you did.



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