Financial literacy in the classroom? One Tennessee lawmaker wants it in schools

Posted at 5:06 PM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 20:28:31-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennessee law could soon change to allow money management courses taught in school districts statewide.

There's a bill moving quickly through the legislature which would urge local school boards to create financial literacy programs for kids in grades 6 to 8.

It's an elective class or part of the normal classroom curriculum. However, sponsor Rep. Harold Love, D-Nashville, believes it could make a big difference.

"We just want to make sure we have the students prepared with as much information as we possibly can," Love said.

HB 2294 would mean school boards would have some type of financial literacy plan.

"I want to make sure our friends, grades sixth through eighth get a proper education on issues such as credit issues of financial literacy," Love said. "Issues of insurance, issues of all the things when it comes to being a better person when it comes to handling their money. These persons may soon be working jobs as high school students or eventually as students graduating from high school. They go straight to having a career."

It's an idea some parents might cling to for the future, such as Deneshia Jackson who is a mother of three students in Tennessee schools.

Her two twin daughters are sixth graders.

"I think in this day and time — with banking and the debt scenarios kids face after they graduate college — that this would be a great opportunity for them to learn more about financial responsibility or planning for their future," Jackson said.

Topics covered could include managing personal finances, what does a job looks like when students eventually enter the work field and ideas becoming increasingly more popular such as cryptocurrency.

Still, schools, and especially teachers, have more responsibilities than ever.

Some expressed concern finance courses could replace other necessary classes.

Rep. Love says he hopes to avoid that scenario.

"It's always a delicate balance when you talk about putting something into the curriculum to make sure you don't take something out to add something else," he said.

Love said if the bill becomes law he hopes financial literacy could be taught as early as next year.