A lot of educational initiatives for K-12 come down the pike and seem strange, and even sometimes worthless. But a new initiative makes perfect sense and we're glad our students, and all students across the state, are spending at least a little time learning personal finance.
Students in Highlands County public schools will spend a half a school credit of time learning about credit card use, saving money, figuring interest and other critical financial life skills that will benefit them before they venture out into the world.
In Highlands County, Junior Achievement volunteers will work with students to teach this valuable information. Across the state the half school credit is required in all Florida schools. That's great news and as important as anything students will learn.
No one will deny that learning the pitfalls of overuse of credit is crucial, especially for young people starting out. Getting buried in debt can take many years to dig out from and cause all kinds of problems.
Credit card companies instantly target college-age kids, knowing they are easy marks. College campuses are filled with offerings. Add that to student loans and everything else that can sink young people and the best thing we can do is arm them with information.
The recent difficult economic times have taught people of all ages what can happen when people ride a razor's edge financially and plenty of young people have seen their parents struggle through it.
It makes sense to offer this kind of training and it could go a lot further. There is much that people need to know about dealing with financial matters before they wade in and get in trouble. Retirement planning can't be taught early enough these days and our children will have a different future as a result of fewer retirement plans through future employers. Learning thrift and financial good sense will serve them well. And in the end, it serves the community as a whole.