Financial Literacy-Skills for a Lifetime

by Senator Patricia Jones
Assistant Senate Minority Whip

Senator Pat JonesThis session, I am sponsoring legislation which, if passed, will greatly broaden Financial Literacy Education in our public schools. It’s practical and smart. It was editorialized recently in the Deseret Morning News.

More than ever before, parents and grandparents believe it is vital to educate our young people to be financially responsible. Just take a look at today’s economy and you will see dire consequences of financial irresponsibility. It is critical for the stability of our families and will give our kids the ability to compete in today’s economic world.

Currently, there is a financial literacy requirement in our high schools, a half-year course in the sophomore or junior year. But it’s too little, and often too late. In addition to the half-year course, my bill integrates practical financial lessons into the math and social studies curricula in grades K-12 in areas such as:

Credit Card Debt: How much does it really cost you to buy on credit?
Investments: How do you choose a wise stock market investment?
Home Ownership: How much can you really afford for your home?
Foreclosure: If it happens, how will it impact your family?
Budgeting: How do you wisely spend your money?
Savings: Why is it important to save for a rainy day?
Retirement: How much money will be needed and for how long?
Gambling: Is it worth the risk?
Payday Loans: Do you understand the exorbitant interest rates?
Bankruptcy: How does it impact your future?

The bill provides funding to teach teachers the concepts and to assess students’ understanding of the concepts. Also proposed is a Financial Literacy Passport, a checklist of financial literacy goals which students can complete in conjunction with their required Financial Literacy half-year course in high school.

An education in financial matters for our children is a wise investment in their future.

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