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As I See It

Teaching financial literacy could pay dividends



Of all the courses I took in high school, on a daily basis I rely very little on the information I was given. I haven’t used trigonometry in a long time, nor have I had to utilize the pythagorean theorem. I don’t speak Spanish even though I took a couple classes. I do remember some history, and utilize basic math and spelling regularly. But one field of study that isn’t required in most Wisconsin high schools is personal finance. A bill signed into law in 2017 requires Wisconsin high schools to include financial literacy standards in their curriculum, but there is no requirement that students take a course on the subject. That could change under a bill up for debate in Madison. This legislation would require that students take a financial literacy class in order to earn a diploma. That seems reasonable. Financial literacy is something people can use every day, well after high school. It could help them become financially stable more quickly and set them up for success for the rest of their lives. They would be better able to balance their checkbooks, create a budget and determine how buying on credit would affect the total cost of a purchase. It seems reasonable to require our students to have some proficiency in handling money. Of all the things our students are taught, financial literacy should be much higher on the list.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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