Should High Schools Get Rid of Algebra II and Replace it with Finance Fundamentals?

An OpEd by Lily Toohey


Lily Toohey, Contributor

Many students after high school graduate and move out on their own for the first time. But frankly, those students are lost when it comes to taxes, salaries, budgeting, etc. High schooIs rarely teach students these fundamentals, unless they take an extra elective that will teach them these skills. I believe that high schools should take away Algebra 2 and replace it with finance fundamentals.

As I have previously stated, high schools rarely teach students financial fundamentals. However, these same students know how to solve exponential and logarithmic expressions. The majority of people will never need to know how to do this, unless they want to be in the mathematical field. Instead of teaching the students something that will be useless to them, schools should replace algebra 2 with finance course.

What would these classes entail?

These classes would teach students about salaries, careers (not just college), credit, budgeting, money management, taking out a loan, buying a house, and filing their taxes. These are much more beneficial then learning how to solve expressions.

Finance courses will give students beneficial habits when dealing with money. Students who learn personal finance principles will have the most time to apply what they have learned, getting the most out of their knowledge. According to the website “Many Americans are finding that they can’t buy homes, invest for retirement, or save for their child’s college fund because of their own student loan debt, massive car payments, and general lack of financial planning.” This proves that schools need to teach more efficient classes instead of classes like algebra 2 which will not teach students life skills. Studies have shown that if you start saving about 300 dollars a month at the age of 20 and you continually increase that saving money, you could have almost one million dollars for retirement. Many people would not know this because they were not taught how to save money.

I believe that high schools should get rid of algebra 2 and replace it with mandatory finance classes. The finance classes would help students learn about salaries, careers, credit, budgeting, money management, taking out a loans, buying a house, and filing their taxes.