Set Students Up for Success With Personal Finance Education

Target: Miguel Cardona, U.S. Secretary of Education

Goal: Back mandate on personal financial planning curriculum in schools.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit personal finances especially hard, and one of the best tools for blunting this impact has suffered as well. Personal finance classes—in which students learn about everything from managing a budget to making sound investments—were one of the educational offerings most adversely impacted by widespread school shutdowns. The economic turmoil of 2020 and 2021 is far from the only detriment to America’s youth receiving this beneficial learning opportunity, however.

As of 2021, less than half of U.S. states make it a requirement for schools to offer financial literacy or personal financial planning courses. Fewer still mandate that students take these classes. Consistently, this type of learning ranks among the most impactful. Researchers and former students alike laud how information like sound savings practices and debt elimination helps individuals stay economically stable throughout their entire lifespans.  Such educational outreach has also been shown to lessen many of the economic disparities seen amongst minority groups.

Across the board, Americans score concerningly low on financial literacy tests. A clear majority of respondents in surveys support the inclusions of personal finance curriculums and believe lack of access to such opportunities hurt them.  Personal finance is a system that all people use in their everyday lives, and investment in this powerful force would be an investment in the future and in equity for all.

Sign the petition below to urge this investment at the national level.

PETITION LETTER

Dear Secretary Cardona,

Americans by and large are illiterate….financially illiterate. Research consistently bears out this distressing reality. America’s youth may be taught how to balance their bodies or balance a scale, but most graduate high school without ever learning how to balance a budget. The nations is setting up its citizens for future financial distress and failure, with disproportionate impacts on minority communities.

A scant 21 states make personal finance an educational requirement, and even these states may merely incorporate material into another course rather than creating an independent class. This standard must change if the United States is to compete in a global economy. The wealthy are often taught how to game the system, but average people never have the opportunity to learn how to make the system work for them.

Now more than ever, Americans need financial stability and the tools to build that stable foundation. Please launch a nationwide campaign to make personal finance education a reality for all students.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit:  Karolina Grabowska

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One Comment

  1. Myrna Burdick says:

    Children are usually given money by their parents -not an allowance for doing chores. This teaches them that all they have to do is ask or keep complaining so the parents cave in to shut them up.
    What do the youngsters learn from this -how to manipulate the cash cows
    living in their house. I have seen a number of my friends who did everything for their kids because it was easier to do it themselves then to teach the kids how to clean their room, wash their clothes, help make dinner, and clean up after dinner.
    Yes it is important for kids to be active in school extracurricular activities, if THEY want to be but
    not to the exclusion of being together as a family sitting down to dinner together.
    Obviously the family has fallen down in teaching budgeting and financial planning and now the schools don’t think it important enough either. IT
    IS important and they better learn it before they get to college.

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