While a majority of high school students won’t have to worry about filing taxes this year, Turlock Unified School District is offering financial literacy classes to help equip them with the tools they need in coming years.
“TUSD students have the opportunity to learn about financial literacy in several courses at the high school level, including College & Career, Business & Finance, and Economics seminary,” said Communications Coordinator Marie Russell. “Topics covered include income tax basics, banking, credit/debit cards, interest rates and investments.”
The district that provides these courses to students is not required, as the state of California has not mandated having personal finance courses in high schools. Learning to make responsible financial decisions can help students, not struggles, when they become adults.
A study, conducted by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, compared three Mandate states with three that do not require classes and found that credit scores improved in Mandate states. Three years after implementing education in Georgia, Idaho, and Texas, all three states saw a reduction in severe delinquency rates and saw their credit scores increase.
According to the Federal Reserve, two out of three families lack any type of emergency savings; 78% of adults live paycheck to paycheck; and three in five adults do not maintain a monthly budget.
In addition, American adults on average answer only 50% of questions correctly about the TIAA Institute-GFLEC Personal Finance Indexwhich annually assesses the financial literacy of American adults.
Financial experts point out that there are many research suggests that early lessons in financial literacy make students feel better about making financial decisions in the future. According to a study by Poverty Research Institute, financial education reduces the likelihood of using payday loans among young adults. It is positively correlated with asset accumulation at age 25, according to a study by Brookings Economic Study.