By Leonardo Cervantes
Assembly Bill 984 requires high school students to complete one semester of personal finance and that is a good thing.
It has the potential to be the most important class for students to take during high school. The bill would require high school students to complete a one-semester course in personal finance to graduate.
This will begin with students graduating in the 2028-2029 school year. This includes students in charter schools.
The bill would require local education agencies to provide the course starting with the 2025 – 2026 school year.
Students currently don’t have any finance classes offered to them. This would be essential for a brighter future not only for the students but for society as a whole.
One of the benefits to personal finance is learning about different business ideas and models. Entrepreneurship is one such business model.
One of the most important skills entrepreneurs have is leadership and vocal skills. Of course, it will always vary with individuals but many successful entrepreneurs have these qualities. Not only will these skills help students in the business industry but also in their daily lives.
Some students aren’t fortunate enough to rely on experience from their families when it comes to personal finance.
By the time they turn 18 with no financial guidance they can get taken advantage of by credit card companies and car dealerships. With a focus on personal finance, young adult’s decision-making will be improved and won’t be exploited as easily.
A finance class can show pupils the importance of income,spending and savings. Almost every student will know about income and what terms like income, savings, investments and expenses.
In a class, a teacher will be able to break down each section and offer advice. Savings is perhaps the most important lesson pupils will learn in the class.
Obviously, every young adult’s financial life is different and most don’t earn money or are in a position to save money monthly.
A class like personal finance can help those who find themselves not being able to save to understand how they can save from their earned income. A lesson as simple as saving 5 or 10% of their income with each paycheck adds up quickly.
If they save a small percentage each month, within three to 12 months they will notice how beneficial it was saving monthly.
Over the last few years stocks and cryptocurrency have seen an uptick in popularity around the internet and young adults have begun investing more than ever.
However, because of the sudden internet popularity young adults have been exploited by more of these stocks which have resulted in foolish financial losses due to making uninformed investments.
With a personal finance class, many students won’t be so easily taken advantage of and will have some understanding of what’s worth risking in investments.
Investing always comes with risks. There’s no correct formula to follow. Adults that dedicate their lives to investing are still prone to lose thousands of dollars because the stock market is unpredictable.
A personal finance class can at least teach pupils some of the basics and what are some smart trends to follow instead of relying on internet personalities advertising their stocks.
The only downside of this bill would be requiring students to pass yet another class in order to graduate.
Young adults are already burdened with having to attend school, do chores at their house and think of their future.
However, the positive outcomes this bill will have on the next generation of teenagers far outweigh the potential inconveniences some students will have.