Only 20 states in this country mandate that each and every high school graduate has some basic sense of personal finance and economics. And that makes no sense. While learning trigonometry about cosines is great, knowing what it means to cosign a bank document is surely of greater importance later in life. And while it's important to understand the concept of a right angle, it's more important to understand the pragmatic nature of what angle to take when approaching credit card debt, student loans, and a mortgage that might end up oppressing you for years. 70% of adults recently scored a "C" or worse on a nationwide economics exam.
According to the National Council for Economic Education, 25% of millennials spend more than they earn; 67% of Generation Y has less than 90-days of emergency funds available to them. 97% of adults think economics should be taught in school. 93% of students agree. We can augment that necessary change here in Hawaii by working with the Department of Education to ensure that every child graduates high school with at least the basics to help them move toward a financially stable life. Economic ignorance often leads to lower financial opportunities and weaker outcomes. Maybe it needs to be a middle school class to catch all kids as some drop out in high school. Maybe freshman year is the ideal time. We just need to figure out how to tweak existing school schedules and work in at least a month or so of solid, but basic, vital economic education.