Money Talk Should Begin in the Classroom

Physician's Money Digest, July 2006, Volume 13, Issue 7

Lord of the Flies

Wall Street

Journal,

Wall Street Journal

Your children may soon be taughtabout the stock market and investing inbetween lectures on the Pythagorean theoremand . A growingtrend, personal finance courses havealready been incorporated into some publicschool curriculums, offering studentsthe opportunity to learn about the dangersand perks of money management, andmajor corporations are eager to be theirteacher. According to the in March, Texas started screeningpersonal finance programs developed bycompanies like Wells Fargo & Co, CitigroupInco, and Visa USA Inc. Educators in SouthCarolina, Missouri, and Virginia will soonfollow suit. In South Dakota, for the firsttime, personal finance will actually becomea graduation requirement, offeringstudents courses on credit cards, analyzinghealth insurance, and calculating taxes.People under the age of 25 are one of thefastest growing groups of bankruptcy filers,and individuals between the ages of18 and 24 have seen their credit card debtincrease more than 100% in the pastdecade, according to recent research publishedin the . Educationalmaterial developed by banks, financialadvisors, and credit card issuersacknowledged the concern of those suspiciousof commercial influence, but manycompanies are sensitive to the issue andmaintain that they are not leaving brochuresbehind. They also do not link theircorporate Web sites to tutorial programs.