Economics 101 Emily Asks Kim

Dear Kim, 

I want my children to be better prepared to handle their finances than I was as a young adult. I want to contact the school board and implore them to include an economics course. Could you supply some reasons advocating for the inclusion of this course in the curriculum?


Economics 101 Emily

Dear Economics 101 Emily,

There are lots of reasons to include economic education in the school curriculum. Studies have shown that young people are graduating without the most basic financial knowledge. Skills such as balancing a checkbook, or how to open a checking account are missing. Even though most of us write few, if any checks each month, it’s still important to know how much is going into and out of your account. The current bank charge for overdrawing your account is around $36 for each occurrence. If you are already struggling to make ends meet, those fees won’t help.

Financial literacy is a way to break the cycle of generational poverty; many low-income families have no understanding of financial matters to pass along to their children. Teaching literacy in finances in schools is a way to overcome this lack at home. As those kids become adults, they are better prepared to manage their budget, save for future purchases, and establish good credit to enable them to purchase cars and homes. It also helps them know how to save for their retirement, so they have more choices about when they retire and how they spend those years.

Until the pay gap and opportunities for women and people of color are at parity with white males, financial education will help these groups manage their resources in the best way possible. For women, learning how to manage their own finances will give them more options beyond turning to a male partner for financial security. I have seen many women face divorce with no idea how to manage their money going through the divorce and beyond. Often, they have no idea how much money the family has, or where it is invested. With a better grounding in financial literacy, they would be more likely to take an interest in the family finances, and therefore have a better understanding should divorce become a reality for them.

Financial stress has been linked to health problems, divorce, and other issues. Having a good understanding of how to manage your money leads to better resiliency during hard times.

I hope these facts assist you in your mission to bring financial education to your school system.



-Foundation 99 provided some of this information.

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