Las Vegas Sun

January 30, 2015

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iblv editorial:

Budgeting 101

Financial literacy course makes sense

It is not difficult to find adults who don’t know how to balance a check book, manage credit cards or mortgage debt, or establish a household budget. Many people simply don’t know how to handle money.

Chances are they got that way because they did not learn in school about financial responsibility, which is one of life’s most important lessons. A lack of financial common sense was certainly a major contributor to the record high home foreclosure rates that have occurred in Southern Nevada.

That is why the Nevada Legislature should approve Senate Bill 317 or Assembly Bill 505, which would require financial literacy instruction in all public high schools and charter schools. A student armed with such knowledge will have a better chance of avoiding financial pitfalls as an adult than someone lacking that background.

As reported last week by Emily Richmond in the Las Vegas Sun, a sister publication of In Business Las Vegas, the legislation would require students be taught financial responsibility through an understanding of credit and debt, consumer protection laws, the benefits of saving and budgeting, and the basics of investing.

State Sen. Allison Copening, D-Las Vegas, lead sponsor of SB317, said that “while there are many causes to the economic problems facing the country, it is undeniable that a lack of financial literacy is a contributing factor.”

Copening was right when she said we should equip teenagers for financial success.

Because the role of high schools is to help prepare students for life after graduation, it doesn’t make sense to release graduates into society without the basic financial building blocks that will help them succeed as adults.

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