A legislative measure that would teach your children how to budget and save is one step closer to becoming a reality in Mississippi. House Bill 637, a measure being promoted by state Treasurer Lynn Fitch, sailed through the House chamber last week with strong support by a vote of 118-1. It now heads to the Senate for approval.
“Teaching the ins and outs of managing money is a very powerful gift to give a young person,” said Treasurer Fitch. This bill would make sure all Mississippi high school students graduate knowing how to write checks and budget, the risks and benefits of saving and investing, the difference between gross and net income and other aspects of financial literacy.
“What this does is not only help students, but our state,” Fitch said. “If we teach our children how to be good stewards of their dollars, they become our workforce and will be good stewards of your business’s dollars. This shows them the importance of learning how to handle money.”
The bill requires students in the 10th, 11th and 12th grades to take one semester of financial literacy. Current law makes personal finance an option for students.
According to the Mississippi Council on Economic Education (MCEE), 22 school districts in the state are already teaching financial literacy.
“Long term, this curriculum will help decrease the debt owed by Mississippians,” the Treasurer believes. She also says it will decrease the number of high school dropouts while increasing the number of students seeking higher education.
If the Senate does not act on this measure before March 5th, it will die in committee. Treasurer Fitch is asking the public to call or contact Lt. Governor Tate Reeves, President Pro Tempore Terry Brown and/or their state Senator to let them know how important this measure is for our children and our state.
During the 2011-2012 school year, 5,869 of the 29,115 students in the 12th grade took the personal finance elective. 161 of the 253 Mississippi public high schools already employ personal finance teachers.
Contact information for Senate members is available by following this link: http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/members/ss_membs.xml
For more information, contact Sherri Hilton, Director of Communications, State Treasury of Mississippi.