Require Personal Finance course for ALL children in South Carolina

Require Personal Finance course for ALL children in South Carolina

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Stephanie Mackara started this petition to SC Senator Luke Rankin and

Economic and Financial Literacy is more important than ever. Economic and Personal Finance education creates knowledgeable citizens and future workforce members. It is only by acquiring economic and financial literacy that children can learn that there are better options for a life well lived, will be able to see opportunity on their horizon line and, ultimately, can grow into successful and productive adults capable of making informed and responsible decisions.

We are at a crossroads.  I knew this day was coming, but it got here even sooner than I imagined, and I never could have imagined how we got here.  We are living in extremes without a safety net.  To one extreme we have a virus that is wiping our large parts of our population.  We are losing loved one’s.  For those of us still here, many of us are losing incomes or know many people that are losing their incomes.  Case in point, just up the road from my house, the Principal at North Charleston High School Henry Darby, gets a second job stocking shelves at Walmart in order to provide food and basic essentials for his students.  The families of his school are simply unable to provide for their children.  Post COVID, we will find ourselves as a nation with extreme amounts of debt that were just a decade ago unfathomable.  We will find the wealth gap expanded beyond anything we have seen before; the poor getting poorer.  Who will bear the burden of these extreme social and financial conditions?  Our children.  The children currently in grade school and high school.  Are they prepared?  They most certainly are not.

The other extreme is we find ourselves living in abundance.  Anything we can ever dream of is just a click away.  Our technological genius has moved at a pace well beyond our ability as humans to keep up.  We are given access to tools without a manual or guide.  One area that reveals this so clearly is stock trading.   With all but $10 in an account, a young person can buy stock.  Zero balances!  No commission stock trading!  You see these advertised everywhere.   With a little bit more, they can write call and put options, or even buy stocks on margin.  Some of you reading this may question what even is a call or put or margin; which further illuminates my point.  We aren’t teaching our children the basic personal financial skills, yet we are giving them access to them without a thought.  Consider this:  Would you give your 16-year-old a car without having taught them how to drive?  Without personally seeing how they perform behind the wheel?  Without making sure they were ready to pass and did, in fact, pass their drivers test?  Let me answer for you of course you would not!

Most states require children to slowly enter into driving with a permit, a test and then ultimately, if they are capable enough, a license.  Schools even offer a Driver’s Education course to help students prepare for the road.  Yet, when it comes to investing we throw caution to the wind and let our kids enter the markets without a guide, or even a map.  Even worse, when it comes to simply interacting in this world, we send our kids into it with very little financial knowledge yet we expect them to sign off on student loans, while understanding the consequences 10 year later.  Go out and get health insurance, car insurance, buy a car, buy a house, open an investment account, the list goes on and on of the financial decisions our children and we are faced with on a regular basis, yet without a strong foundation of knowledge, they are left often making poor, ill-informed decisions that can set them back, financially for years.

Take 20-year-old University of Nebraska student, a Robinhood investor who woke up one day to a $732,000 negative balance and soon after jumped in front of a train to commit suicide.  According to Forbes magazine, in his suicide note he said he had “no clue” what he was really doing and for fear that his future was ruined because of the excessive loss, took his own life.   Do I blame Robinhood? I do not.  Robinhood is the result of our society, a symptom of the glorifying and more dangerously, gamifying investing. 

The recent GameStop “revolution” is another example of extremes.  Many of the investors that put money into GameStop in the last weeks of January, I would imagine, have little to no retirement or even emergency fund savings.  This is an example of gambling, not investing.  Let’s make that clear. 

What can be done?  Let’s start with education.  Whether you find your family at one extreme or the other, education is the strongest foundation for financial success.  Here is some data to ponder of education on personal finance across the United States:

 

45         Require that a course is offered.

25         Require that a course is taken

2            Including South Carolina, integrate the course content with another course

10         Require personal finance to be included in Standardized Testing

5            Only 5 states require a stand alone course AND include it in Standardized                   Testing

Help us bring to South Carlonia children the much needed Required Stand Alone Course AND Standarized Testing requirement.  Go to Change.org

If your child is not financially literate it will be extremely difficult to navigate and be financially well in the world, yet only 5 states in our country have the implemented the necessary education in order to give our children the tools they need for success.  Let's get SC on board for success!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!