Las Vegas Sun

January 28, 2015

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Fiscal fitness in schools

Bill in the Legislature would help prepare students to handle money, understand finances

As the nation continues to deal with the recession, state lawmakers are considering a bill that would require high schools and charter schools to teach basic financial principles.

Two similar bills would require coursework on personal finances, investments, credit and debt. Students would have to pass a proficiency test before graduating.

As Emily Richmond reported in Thursday’s Las Vegas Sun, state Sen. Allison Copening, D-Las Vegas, said “a lack of financial literacy is a contributing factor” to the nation’s current woes.

A group of business and nonprofit organization leaders supports the measure.

The economic crisis was caused by an array of factors, and greed made a lot of smart people dumb. But it is clear that a financial education could have helped people who took out adjustable-rate mortgages and other loans that weren’t in their best interest.

Some school officials are supportive of the idea but are concerned that adding another requirement to the curriculum will mean they will have to cut something out.

We would think teachers and administrators could find the time to incorporate financial skills lessons into the existing curriculum, whether in math or social studies. The Legislature should support such a plan.

Teaching financial literacy is not just important. It is an essential part of a well-rounded education.

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