Promoting financial literacy for students

One of the top priorities of Senate Republicans is to make sure that our children receive a quality education. After all, they are the future of our state.

A key part of our education system should be ensuring students are financially literate. We’ve seen what happens when people make bad financial decisions in the wake of the 2008 mortgage crisis.

That’s why learning how to budget and manage personal finances early in life can pay big dividends down the road — and keep people from making poor financial decisions that have wide-reaching impact.

Last year, the Michigan Senate unanimously approved legislation, now Public Act 186 of 2015, to allow schools to include a financial literacy component as part of the semester of economics required to earn a high school diploma. Understanding the basic principles involved with earning, spending, saving, borrowing and investing will help students acquire the skills they need to make sound financial decisions later in life.

And the best part of this law is that schools will not have to spend money developing the material; a model curriculum for youth financial education is already available from the Michigan Department of Education.

Making sure our students enter the world with a basic understanding of how to make financial decisions makes us all better off. Ensuring the financial literacy of Michigan’s youth without dumping a financial burden on the taxpayers will only make our state’s future stronger.