In the upcoming school year Arizona will have a new requirement for their students: personal finance.
Starting in fall, a new state law, Senate Bill 1449, will require the State Board of Education to adjust curriculum to include personal finance teaching. Financing concepts are required to be taught starting in first grade. Students will be exposed to ideas such as budgeting, saving, investing and credit.
Senate Bill 1449 came about when accountant Sharon Lechter, the driving force behind this bill, decided to adjust her career's focus to financial education and literacy after discovering her oldest son had fallen into credit card debit post high school graduation.
"I realized when my own child had that kind of problem, what about the kids that aren't getting any financial education?" Lechtcher said in an Arizona Daily Star interview. The goal of this law is for students to be able to manage their futures by freeing themselves from unnecessary financial burdens by graduating with basic understanding of finance management, she said.
This symbolic move by the Arizona Department of Education is a step forward in addressing new ways to prepare the country's youth with skills necessary for success. Not long ago, there was a push to teach children vocational skills in elementary and high school. Perhaps at a time of 7.6% unemployment with about 12 million Americans still looking for work, it's not a bad time to re-examine alternative routes to educate to inspire our the next generation in our country?