Nashville lawmaker wants financial literacy in Tennessee schools

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

A bill is moving fast through the Legislative Assembly that would encourage local school boards to create financial literacy programs for children in grades 6-8.

This is an optional course or part of the regular school curriculum. However, sponsor representative Harold Love, D-Nashville, thinks it could make a big difference.

“We just want to make sure students are prepared with as much information as possible,” Love said.

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

“I want to make sure our friends in grades six through eight get the proper education on issues like credit issues to financial literacy,” Love said. “Insurance issues, issues of all things when it comes to being a better person when it comes to managing money. These people could soon be taking jobs as high school students or possibly as as students graduating from high school. They’re going straight to have a career.”

It’s an idea some parents might cling to for the future, like Deneshia Jackson, a mother of three at Tennessee Schools.

Her twin daughters are in sixth grade.

“I think these days – with the banks and the debt scenarios kids face after graduating from college – it 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 a job looks like when students finally enter the job field, and increasingly popular ideas such as cryptocurrency.

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

Some feared that finance courses would replace other necessary courses.

Rep. Love says he hopes to avoid that scenario.

“It’s always a delicate balance when you’re talking about putting something in the program 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 can be taught as early as next year.