Financial class is life lessons

Published 10:30 am Friday, December 11, 2009

The course description may call it financial literacy but the class might as well be named Life 101.

Green High School students have been a little ahead of the educational curve the past few years, with many taking the financial literacy class taught by business teacher Mindy Clark.

At first the course was an elective but has become required at Green for the past two years. And now the state is following that example.

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Starting next school year, financial literacy or some version of it will be a required part of the curriculum for all high school students.

This makes perfect sense and is an education that everyone can use in their lives. Financially smart citizens only strengthen the economy, at a time when fiscal responsibility has been forgotten in far too many cases.

Topics include debt, credit cards, interest rates, savings, investments, real estate, bargain shopping, consumer awareness, credit bureaus and budgeting and purchasing a first car.

These are all important skills that students will utilize as they become adults. And perhaps most importantly, the students seem to be engaged in the class because they can see the real-world applications for what they are learning, something that is certainly not the case for everything that is taught in high school.

It makes you wonder where our economy and credit-driven society would be today if classes like these were required 20 years ago.

Hopefully, the state will see the success of this program and extend the course offerings to other life skills beyond the financial realm. How to change a tire, do laundry, write a resume and book a trip would be good starting points.

High school education is about preparing students for life and this class does that by focusing on the skills we use every day.