When will I use this in real life? Everyday actually.

Roland Deex

The Issaquah School District’s Student Learning Goals state “Our students will be prepared for and eager to accept the academic, occupational, personal, and practical challenges of life”. In our lives, many of us will face extreme challenges: some of them health-related, some of them writing related, some of them math related, some of them technology related. In order to better prepare us for these challenges, the district requires students to take certain classes such as core classes, health and software technology.

But, if there is one that the majority of us will imminently face in life, it is the challenge of financial stability. So why is there no compulsory course that will give students the skills they need to conquer such challenges?

For this, I implore the district to include a financial literacy course (such as Learn and Earn, or Economics, which are currently elective classes) when they revise the social studies sequence this winter. For those of you who don’t know about this change, see news article titled District restructuring social studies curriculum.

Last year, I took both Learn and Earn and Economics, and I can say with confidence that those two classes prepared me more for real life than all of the other classes I have taken at Liberty combined. No matter what post-high-school path we choose, properly managing our financial lives will always be imperative. And with rates of financial troubles continuing to increase among young people, this addition to the high school curriculum is as important as ever; according to Demos.org, 84% of the undergraduate student population had credit cards, and graduated with an average of $20,000 in debt in 2009.

I am not saying that classes such as history shouldn’t be required; they matter too. But in the next few years most of us will be required to fill out a tax return form. How many of us will be required to fill in a Venn diagram about the differences between Athens and Sparta?