Tackling America's debt crisis with education
Georgia is following neighboring Florida's lead, after Governor Brian Kemp recently signed a new bill that will require high school students in the state to study financial literacy and financial management classes before graduating.
Under the new law, from the 2024-2025 school year all 11th- and 12th-grade students will need to take at least a half-credit course in financial literacy before graduation. Many other states besides Florida and now Georgia have already included such topics in their high-school curriculum.
While topics such as credit scores, how to file taxes and how to budget might not seem like the most interesting subjects for high school kids, many in the state have applauded the move as a positive step in equipping kids with the right skills to thrive in the modern world.
America's debt crisis
The need for financial education in America has never been more apparent. A 2014 study by the Milken Institute found that just 57 percent of Americans were financially literate - measured by basic familiarity with core financial concepts.
Regardless of knowledge, there are clear indications that many Americans struggle with managing their money:
- At the end of 2021, 61% of Americans were estimated to be living from paycheck to paycheck
- 8 in 10 Americans have some form of debt, with an average debt of $38,000(not including mortgages)
- 19% of Americans have $0 set aside for an emergency
These high level statistics give an indication of the scale of the problem. It could well be that in years to come, the situation in Florida is improved at least a little by high school kids having some basic financial knowledge.
Would you have benefited from financial education during high school? Are you supportive of young people being educated in how to manage their money better? Let me know in the comments section below.