Letter to the editor – Denny Lautner

To the editor,

As I understand it, to graduate from Greene County High School, only one credit in finance is required. I think that is terribly inadequate preparation for 18-year-olds about to be turned loose in the world of monetary decisions that awaits them.

I believe it would be wise for the school district to require four credits in finance because everything a person encounters following graduation requires decisions about money.

Young people must be taught how to save, how to budget and how to balance a check book. They need to know what goes into getting pre-approval for a loan and buying a car, a house and health and life insurance. They should understand how the stock market works.

And they must learn that there are taxes to pay, and what those taxes buy for the good of the community and the country.

Every business in the county could contribute information for the curriculum on how to use money wisely…from banks and financial planners, to real estate and insurance agents, to grocery stores and repair shops, to grain co-ops and the casino.

Overall, our kids must learn the difference between needs and wants. That entails teaching them about proper use of credit cards and to forget about spend, spend, spend, because sooner or later the bills come due. We need to show them that eating at home is wiser than eating at a café or grabbing something from the convenience store. Better for their health, too!

And finally, we need to help them understand that new worth does not define a person’s self-worth.

Our school system must prepare its graduates for the real world by teaching them how money works, and that requires more than one class in managing their personal finances.

Denny Lautner, Jefferson

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