While most high school students won’t have to worry about filing taxes this year, the Turlock Unified School District offers financial literacy courses to give them the tools they’ll need for years to come.
“TUSD students have the opportunity to learn about financial literacy in various high school level courses, including College and Career Seminar, Business and Finance, and Economics,” said Communications Coordinator Marie Russell. “Topics covered include income tax basics, banking, credit/debit cards, interest rates, and investing.”
The district is not required to offer these courses to students, because there is no mandate from the state of California to have personal finance courses in high schools. Learning to make responsible financial decisions can help students stay out of trouble as adults.
One study, conducted by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, compared three mandatory states with three that don’t require the courses and found that credit scores improved in the mandatory states. Three years after the education was implemented in Georgia, Idaho and Texas, all three states saw severe delinquency rates decline and their credit scores increase.
According to the Federal Reserve, two out of three families lack some form of emergency savings; 78 percent of adults live paycheck to paycheck; and three out of five adults do not maintain a monthly budget.
Furthermore, American adults on average only answer 50 percent of the questions correctly on the TIAA Institute-GFLEC Personal Finance Indexwhich annually assesses financial literacy among American adults.
Financial experts stress that there are plenty of rResearch to suggest that early financial literacy teachings make students feel better about their financial decisions in the future. According to a study by Poverty Research Institute, financial education reduces the likelihood of using payday loans among young adults. It correlates positively with asset accumulation at age 25, according to a study by Brookings Economics Study.