Needed, Financial Education in America!

Never in recent history has a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected the income and lives of so many individuals, families, and small businesses in America. Clearly, it has pointed out the need, importance of, and the urgency to implement financial education and literacy curriculums in our schools, K–12, and can no longer be ignored. Not having a foundation in financial and literacy skills has contributed to the mental, financial, and physical stress for those without a safety net (at least six months of income set aside) to cover emergencies, layoffs, medical expenses, and a full pantry. Add insufficient cash reserves and income to pay utilities, mortgages, rental expenses, along with auto, credit card, payroll, and student loan debt, and this enhances the makings of a devastating personal and family event. Why? Because too many parents, educators, and politicians have ignored, sidestepped, or refused to require in K–12 school curriculums specific life skills and practices needed to succeed in today’s society with its occasional setbacks and crises along with its opportunities. Financial literacy is imperative, crucial, and critical to the future of our country. Allowing or permitting ignorance of money matters to reign and be ignored by parents, educators, and politicians across all class lines is criminal, a great disservice to our young adults and future leaders. This must change. Additionally, the wealth and poverty gaps cannot be narrowed equitably through legislation, only through financial education, strongly supported with life skills, especially reading and math. The goal is to build self-reliance and motivational traits within students, traits to help them succeed and from which this country evolved. To legislate income equality without financial literacy curriculums to support it will continue to erode the economy, individual self-reliance, the family unit, and American liberties. Let’s not forget a desired outcome of financial education is the advocacy and practice of fiscal responsibility throughout all levels of society. “Think about every problem, every challenge we face. The solution to each starts with education.” — George H.W. Bush

Charley Green