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As I See It

Personal finance class should be a graduation requirement



When I think back on all the junk I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all. That’s a slightly edited version of the Paul Simon song, which I found going through my head as I talked with a friend about high school graduation requirements. They taught us lots of stuff we really don’t use much in our daily lives. Maybe we can still speak a little Spanish or French, but I don’t remember the last time I used trigonometry or did anything with signs and cosigns. But something we do every day was something many of us weren’t taught in school. We need more formal instruction about how to handle our personal finances. Wisconsin has no requirement that high school students pass a personal finance class before graduating. Many never have any instruction on how to balance a checkbook, how interest works, the importance of a credit score, or how to file taxes. Many Wisconsin school districts offer some sort of finance course, but there is no requirement for them to do so. That should change. Students who learn the rules of the game early are likely to do better when it is their turn to play the game.

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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  1. Wayne

    March 16, 2023 at 10:26 am

    Excellent idea it should be required like phy ed etc.I know it would be better in a classroom than from a parent at home and sink in more.

  2. nick

    March 16, 2023 at 11:08 am

    Our core scores in reading and math keep going down .
    Teaching them what you propose is worthless if they cannot read, cannot do math and do not know how to critically think.
    We are far more concerned about what pronouns can be used, transgender issues etc than producing students proficient in core subjects and then discriminate against students who can based on their ethnicity

  3. Darin

    March 16, 2023 at 8:26 pm

    No no no… we HAVE to teach kids that men can have babies first! That’s waaaay more important than learning how to balance a check book…

  4. Meg

    March 17, 2023 at 8:34 pm

    Logan High does have a requirement personal finance class! Maybe not for district but is a requirement at Logan.

  5. Angie

    March 18, 2023 at 3:52 pm

    I made my daughter write out the checks for the bills and balance the checkbook one month when she was in high school. After she saw how much it took from my paycheck she didn’t want to do it again. She also stopped asking for money and other things.

  6. Sharon Schultz

    March 20, 2023 at 3:19 pm

    I believe this should be a requirement. You may not use a foreign language or advance math, but you must learn about finances because you will use it every day of your life. Using $$ determines to a great extend how successful you are .

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