NV Blueprint: Student Financial Literacy

NV Blueprint: Student Financial Literacy
By Joyce Woodhouse
March 18, 2015


senator joyce-smlYesterday, the Senate Education Committee held a hearing on Senate Bill 220, my bill to require financial literacy education as part of the middle school math curriculum in Nevada. Improving education, particularly students’ long-term ability to succeed financially, is a priority in the Nevada Blueprint that Democrats announced last week. 

The genesis of this bill was in the Nevada Youth Legislature.  With me yesterday were the bill’s primary authors, Evan Gong and Kyle Walker; both are Youth Legislators.

There is bipartisan agreement that we are not doing enough to prepare for the ever-increasing financial complexity our students face as they move into adult life. 

The principles of personal finance—and the global economy in which they function—are mysteries to an alarming number of Americans.  Recent changes in the financial landscape have further complicated the decisions they make as workers, consumers, savers, borrowers, and investors.  

What’s more, the pace of change is quickening at a time when individuals of all ages are being called upon to assume more responsibility for their financial lives.

For example, college tuition is now so costly that postsecondary education has become a serious personal finance decision.  Health insurance coverage is now mandated and offerings have grown more nuanced, forcing citizens to select among a confusing mix of prices and fees. 

In short, consumers today are faced with a dizzying array of financial options, requirements, and decisions.  We owe it to our students to better prepare them for these challenges. 

Senate Bill 220 addresses this issue by extending our existing financial literacy course of study from high school into middle school, and expands the topics covered to include the most relevant information for today’s world.

In yesterday’s hearing, we heard from teachers, parents, school officials, and members of the banking and financial services industries who all testified that we need to do a better job preparing our kids for the choices they’ll have to make as they grow into adulthood. 

If we pass this bill, we can help put our kids on stronger financial footing for the future. 

 

Here are a few ways you can help make a difference.