Sep 20, 2016

Schools In the News: What's New In Financial Literacy?

  • Carlmont High School (right down the road from me in Belmont, California) offers a personal finance program (Scot Scoop News):

Personal finance teacher James Cappels said, “Learning about finances is something that everybody needs, especially for people living in an area as competitive as the Bay Area. It is very easy to burn through money if you don’t know what you’re doing. This class helps students get off to a good start so that they don’t have to learn about money the hard way.”

  • Northwestern High School (Wisconsin) requires students to take a 9-week financial literacy course (Superior Telegram):

“I think one of the best comments I’ve ever gotten was a student who said she had to go home and thank her parents,” said Jody Forsythe, a marketing teacher. “She never realized they had to pay for all this other stuff … realizing that is really, really important at that age.”

Teal said one of the eye-opening experiences for students is the life skills portion of the class, when students learn everything from finding a bank to buying a house, and even buying groceries, with a surprising cost of $400-$500.

  • Sex ed. is required, why isn’t financial education(CNN)?:
While sexual education is mainstream in K-12 schools, financial education is not. The result is that the U.S. ranks 14th — behind Israel, Canada, Australia, Singapore and much of Europe — in financial literacy. That’s according to a huge survey of over 150,000 people in 148 countries conducted by Standard & Poor’s and Gallup in 2014.
  • Loyola Marymount University (California) offering boot camps to high school students (LA Times):

Program director, Ron Rishagen: I taught at a high school for 12 years. It’s really a travesty that educators have not made a requirement for financial literacy to be on the curriculum. Why do we learn how to calculate the area of a triangle in high school but not the power of compound interest?What if financial literacy was taught in the public schools? How would that affect the poverty level or the crime level? The parents are lacking in this kind of knowledge as well. We have had requests from parents if they could sit in on the workshops.

  • Clinton High School (Massachusetts) receives grant for financial literacy (Worcester Telegram):

Clinton High School is among the 2016-2017 recipients of Financial Education Innovation Fund grants, an initiative that provides capital to expand Credit for Life and financial education fairs in high schools across the state. These awards are funded by a grant from the Division of Banks through settlements over alleged unlawful lending practices.


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About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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