Ariz. Sen­ate bill makes fis­cal sense for teens

Pro­posal would re­quire per­sonal fi­nance course for grad­u­a­tion

Yuma Sun - - OPINION -

When stu­dents grad­u­ate from high school, they are gen­er­ally con­sid­ered adults, ready to march off into the world armed with the skills they need to nav­i­gate through life on their own.

At that point, one is ex­pected to be lit­er­ate, with some func­tional knowl­edge of civics, sci­ence, English, gram­mar, math and more. One has been ex­posed to art, mu­sic, health and phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion, and touched on a va­ri­ety of other sub­jects along the way.

In any given day, in any given grade level, teach­ers have to fig­ure out how weave this all to­gether in some sort of com­pre­hen­sive ta­pes­try be­fore their stu­dents grad­u­ate. It’s a mind-bog­gling task.

A bill at the Ari­zona Leg­is­la­ture might add an­other layer to the pic­ture.

“SB 1184 would add a half-credit per­sonal fi­nance course to the state’s high­school grad­u­a­tion re­quire­ments. The course would in­clude fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy and per­sonal fi­nan­cial man­age­ment,” the Ari­zona Repub­lic re­ports.

Ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease from the Ari­zona State Trea­surer’s Of­fice, which sup­ports the bill, stu­dents would learn how to bal­ance their check­books and un­der­stand credit and debt.

“This bill will give stu­dents the crit­i­cal, ba­sic life skills to man­age their money and have the fi­nan­cial free­dom to ac­com­plish any­thing af­ter grad­u­a­tion,” Trea­surer Kim­berly Yee said. The bill is one that has merit. Lessons on how to man­age money and fi­nances could help a stu­dent un­der­stand what to do with his own money once he’s in the real world. And that’s not a les­son that a teen is guar­an­teed to learn at home. Af­ter all, if a teen comes from a home fraught with fi­nan­cial chal­lenges, his lessons on the sub­ject might be vastly dif­fer­ent that a teen who comes from a more af­flu­ent home. A class on the sub­ject at school would mean the same lessons for all teens, arm­ing them all with crit­i­cal in­for­ma­tion that could have a last­ing im­pact on their lives.

It’s tough to think of yet an­other layer of re­quire­ments for schools and stu­dents. But SB 1184 is one that makes sense for our stu­dents.

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