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Teaching Financial Literacy In The Age of Bitcoin

Learning about how the world of finance works is increasingly important as technology like Bitcoin advances.

By Aarika Rhodes for Bitcoin Magazine

Recently I met with a group of high school seniors transitioning into college to ask how we can improve our education system. One thing they mentioned is that they did not feel prepared for the real world. I started asking them questions to try to figure out what they meant. When we got to the topic of financial literacy, I was stunned by their lack of knowledge. They did not know the difference between a debit and credit card. One student did not even know they were responsible for paying back money charged to a credit card.

As some members of Congress think about banning bitcoin, they are missing what the real problem is. The federal government should not be in the business of banning innovative new technologies, but the government does have a role in funding age-appropriate financial literacy courses from kindergarten through twelfth grade. As an educator and candidate running to serve California’s 30th congressional district in 2022, I believe this is a moral imperative. We are allowing our youth to leave high school ill-prepared, and set up for failure.

Financial literacy courses are essential to instill principles of saving, budgeting, and investing, which leads to financial responsibility. These classes provide students with concrete skills they can apply in the real world. Current California state standards mandate that public school students take a semester-long economics class that teaches big picture economics but fails to address the practical skills people need to handle their money. Students learn about international trade and monetary policy, but they do not learn how to find an apartment to rent or how to calculate credit card interest. Students need dedicated classes on personal finance. They need to leave high school knowing the difference between a debit and credit card. They need to understand that credit cards are inherently high interest and that companies want people to get themselves stuck in debt traps by making minimum payments that leave the principle largely untouched. They need to know how to make smart investments for themselves by balancing risk with potential reward while factoring in inflation and fees.

Read the full article on for Bitcoin Magazine here.