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Common Sense

The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

All students should cash in with financial literacy

Common+Sense+staff+writer+Noah+Friedmans+graduation+status+shows+the+courses+required+to+graduate.+Financial+literacy+is+inexplicably+not+one+of+the+courses+on+the+list.
Screenshot by Noah Friedman
Common Sense staff writer Noah Friedman’s graduation status shows the courses required to graduate. Financial literacy is inexplicably not one of the courses on the list.

An extensive list of courses, including algebra, pre-calculus, biology and fine arts are all required in order to graduate. I don’t mean to undermine these classes or claim that they won’t have value in our future, they likely will. However, personal finance is missing from that list.

Throughout high school, students are introduced to a variety of subjects that give them a diverse understanding of the world around them. But when we enter that world, we are unprepared to handle our own financial situations. It is up to the school to ensure we get the necessary education to help us handle our money in the adult world.

The current course that is offered is one semester long and has no prerequisites. According to the course bulletin, the class offers students education on applying for loans, renting homes, paying taxes, saving money and more. This is valuable information that students will be able to use in the future. “I learned many important things about my personal finance that will help me in the future,” junior Kyle Fuster said.

With the benefits of the class being so obvious, it is fair to question why the course is not required. An entire year of health class is required for those in the Class of 2025 and younger. Financial well-being is an important part of an individual’s health. Shortening the health course back to one semester and replacing the second semester with personal finance is a viable option to ensure this important information is being taught to all students. “I think it should be a required class because of the important life skills you obtain,” Fuster said.

Our financial situation can have an impact on every level of our lives. Students may have visions of starting a family later in life. However, if you are financially unprepared then those dreams may not become reality. “It is very difficult when you get out of college and start a business or a family. More money goes towards those things so you need to learn about it now and get your portfolio developed early on,” athletic director Alton Lightsey said.

Teachers clearly see the value of the course. Which raises the question, why doesn’t the county? “I absolutely think it should be a required class. I think there are lots of things that should be taught in high school that are left out. But creating a financial portfolio is definitely one of those things,” Lightsey said.

The class is particularly useful for seniors who are headed to college or to continue their lives in the working world. Either way, their ability to take care of their money will be hugely important for their future success. “It’s really important to know how to support yourself financially while also being able to do what you want with your money,” senior Lindsey McNey said.

The value of the class is clear as day. Additionally, there are feasible ways to fit it into an already crowded list of required classes. Regardless of the class’s status as an elective or a required course, all students should look to fit it into their schedules. “I think personal finance is a great way to learn about real-world skills,” McNey said.

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Noah Friedman, staff writer
Junior Noah Friedman is a staff writer in his second year writing for Common Sense. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer and hanging out with friends. You can find him on Instagram @noahfriedman07
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