We’re individuals, human beings, unique and each beholden to our nature.

    Therapists and psychologists say most couples fight over money and sex. Sex is a natural urge to sustain the species, ingrained in all humans and shared to varying degrees.

    Money? We created that and we’re still trying to figure out how to agree on household balance sheets, budgets, splurges, saving, traveling and paying bills.

    There once was a woman who insisted that when the credit card company sends you a bill for $1,119 and they only want $17, you give them the $17 and move on with your day. It was a no-brainer to her.

    Aw, but what of the compounded 13 percent interest arriving monthly in the mailbox? What this friend needed a was a little financial education.

    Our legislators are considering three bills that each in its own way would add a semester of financial literacy to the high school curricula throughout New Mexico. This is desperately needed.

    From our time as a weather station chief we counseled many new recruits who firmly believed if you had checks, you still had money. They also defended buying a $3 loaf of bread at Circle K, instead of planning ahead and paying less than a buck at their local grocery store.

    If you disagree, look no further than homeless people with Apple phones. Watch a family use an EBT card and then go get in a 2018 GMC Yukon, or people who do grocery shopping at convenience stores. There is a long list of sins.

    These folks aren’t bad people, they just don’t know better because they either grew up watching that behavior in their parents or they had no role model and just follow their desires, instead of address their needs (first).

    Two bills moving through the legislature would make a one-semester course in financial literacy a high school graduation requirement for New Mexico’s students. Senate Bill 170 and House Bill 163 both would make the course a requirement.

    House Education Chair Andres Romero, D- Bernalillo, on Feb. 22 got a similar, possibly better bill, through the House on a 66-1 vote. House Bill 83 makes a broader changes to New Mexico’s high school curricula. An amendment makes it a requirement for high school students to pass a one-semester course on financial literacy.

    Romero is working to make high school courses more relevant and engaging for students. This bill seems to do that.

    In changing the core requirements the bill calls for high school students to take, “four units in mathematics, of which one shall be the equivalent to or higher than the level of algebra 2, unless the parent submitted written, signed permission for the student to complete a lesser mathematics unit; and provided that a financial literacy course or department-approved work-based training or career and technical education course that meets state mathematics academic content and performance standards shall qualify as one of the four required mathematics units.”

    That passage not only adds the financial literacy course as a math but also addresses work-based training or career and technical education courses.

    Under electives Romero’s bill also adds a “career cluster course and workplace readiness course. We need those desperately in the Valley. Ask any employer along Riverside Drive and they’ll tell you almost all first time hires are not ready to work, don’t understand what is expected of them and think their boss will baby them like their parents.

    The first year Chili’s was open, they went through 600 employees. It’s hard to imagine how fast people were coming and going. It’s hard to imagine the state of mind a manager would have.

    House Bill 83 is now in the senate and must get through the Senate Education Committee and Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee. Then it’s on to the floor.

    Ask your senator to support HB 83.

    Not knowing HB 83’s fate, we encourage voters to ask their senator to also support and vote for SB 170 and their representative to support HB 163. These are two good bills but are more focused on financial literacy courses and less on overhauling high school graduation requirements. Romero’s is the better route and will serve teens better.

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