Should high school students be required to take financial literacy?
The statistics are eye-opening, and concerning. Only 24% of millennials in the U.S. understand basic financial principles. About half of high-schoolers say they learn about investing from social media. Fewer than half the states require high schools to teach financial literacy.
The stats may change in Idaho, however, thanks to legislation that has been introduced by Rep. James Petzke. House Bill 92 would require financial literacy courses in all Idaho high schools - public and charter.
Currently, Idaho requires one economics course for a high school diploma. But the Nation's Report Card on Financial Literacy says the state still has a long way to go. It recommends Idaho "needs to require high school stand-alone personal finance course and implement grade-specific K-8 financial literacy standards."
Idaho received a "C" on the report card. Its neighbors in Washington and Montana received a "B" and "D" respectively.
As Forbes points out, with so many Americans living paycheck to paycheck, financial literacy requirements can only help. The classes may also cause many younger Americans to think twice about taking out enormous student loans.
Some remarkable stats come from states that do and do not have financial literacy requirements. Moneyrates.com divided states with the requirement versus states without it. Here are the results: