1. Teaching New York’s Youth to Take Control of Their Financial Futures
2. Financial Literacy: The Problem Being Faced by Students Across New York
3. Learn the Value of Money: Insight from NY State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli
The youth of New York may know a lot about anything and everything, but that knowledge extends far beyond the academic books they’ve read. New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli recently touched on an issue that needs further examination – financial literacy. In an amNewYork op-ed published recently, DiNapoli highlighted the fact that twenty states, such as Utah, Rhode Island, and Ohio, have already made personal finance classes compulsory for their students.
This revelation led to the finding of an alarming survey conducted in 2022; it concluded that 80% of those surveyed admitted regretting not taking such classes. Following these findings, several members of the Board of Regents have since voiced support for making personal finance classes a requirement in order to earn a high school diploma.
Two local school districts – Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake and Shenendehowa Central school districts – have taken the initiative to implement classes teaching students financial literacy. To make the lessons more practical, each district has created their own ‘credit unions’ within the campuses, where students can work side by side and learn first-hand how to manage their finances.
Business teacher Christine Kelly of the Shenendehowa Central School District shared her thoughts during this venture. She agrees that this should be a mandatory part of every graduation requirement, as it can be the antidote to the student loan debt and credit card debt amounting to more than $1 trillion.
The National Financial Educators Council has long been discussing and stressing the importance of financial literacy. Stephanie Andrejcak, the Career and Technical Education Coordinator for BH-BL, said that “Financial literacy leads to greater stability. It leads to less stress, better overall health, and will be the cornerstone for generational wealth. Financial literacy is a wellness activity. It doesn’t just pertain to money.”
Given these realities, it is apparent why students in New York are enthusiastic to gain knowledge in a practical setting with working credit unions. It is a shame, however, that not all schools have implemented such vital courses as of yet; this is an urgent issue that needs to be addressed in order to help young people in New York thrive financially.