Would you send athletes into a game without any practice? Hand kids a library card but not teach them to read?
Give them the car keys without teaching them how to drive? Of course not. Yet we let students slide into adulthood without learning the basics of personal finance.
We know that young Americans struggle with credit card debt and student loan debt, and that many grow up in homes where it’s a struggle just to make ends meet. Requiring financial education gives all young Americans the tools they need to make informed decisions that will benefit themselves, their families, and their communities.
When we treat personal finance with the respect given to other subjects—when teachers are trained, and there is a required, well-defined personal finance curriculum—financial education works. Three years after Georgia, Idaho, and Texas mandated personal finance courses, credit scores for young adults increased up to 32 points and loan delinquency rates decreased by as much as 16 percent.