I have a love/ hate relationship with the Guest Views of Dan Walters published in The Morgan Hill Times. His most recent, “Key subjects fall short in curricula expansion,” is a good example.

Without getting into too many specifics about his myopic views on curricula in public schools, I would like to point out to him and your readers that financial literacy is an international literacy, it supersedes language, cultural, educational and ethnic barriers. It combines reading and math. Money is money, be it dollars, dineros or yen. We all use it. Why not learn to use it well?

Often, the people who most need to learn about financial literacy are those with less formal education, those who traditionally fall behind in standardized tests, those who continually fail public school expectations, sometimes through circumstances beyond the control of educators.

“A rising tide floats all boats” as the saying goes. Teaching people about money benefits everyone. 

As adults, it often helps keep these students away from predatory lenders, high-fee check cashing establishments and out of bankruptcy. It creates a stronger and more resilient workforce and more secure families.

Teaching financial literacy can and should successfully be integrated into an existing curriculum. It is not a binary choice. We can be smart about money and still be slow readers. 

My own husband struggled with reading his whole grade 1-12 education because of undiagnosed dyslexia. He found math to be his happy place because numbers were easier. He went on to earn two degrees in mathematics and a medical school degree, and practiced for many years before retiring from medicine. He now teaches biostatistics at SJSU and statistics at EVC. 

He is a smart and educated man. He manages money well. But he is still a slow reader and would probably fall behind in today’s standardized reading tests. He would be exactly the student to whom Mr. Walters would deny financial literacy classes.

Education is never “pointless” as Dan Walters states. We can be more than one thing. We owe all students the opportunity to try.

Marianne Knight

Morgan Hill

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