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Students, Lawmaker Call For More Financial Literacy Instruction


Nevada lawmakers are reviewing a bill that would require elementary and middle school students to learn about personal finance. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports.

Right now, state law only requires financial literacy lessons for high school students.

High school Senior Kyle Walker from Las Vegas is a member of the Nevada Youth Legislature and spoke at a committee hearing on the bill Tuesday. He says simply being prepared for college isn't enough anymore.

"I've been taught everything I need to know to be effective in post-secondary education," Walker says, "but not the things I need to know to be successful in life."

Under this measure, sponsored by Democratic Senator Joyce Woodhouse, students would learn about different types of loans and insurance policies, along with how to manage their debt and prevent identity theft. These lessons would be taught in math classes, which poses a problem for Nicole Rourke with the Clark County School District.

"There's just simply not enough room in our mathematics curriculum to add more requirements," Rourke explains. "Something would have to give."

Rourke said the district would support keeping financial literacy content where it is now--at the end of senior year. Bill supporters say the current content is too rushed and too late in a student's academic career to make a real impact. 

Michelle Billman is a former news director at KUNR Public Radio.
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