Set Students Up for Financial Stability and Success

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

Goal: Advocate for personal financial education and literacy across America’s school systems.

Every year, as millions of Americans rush to file their taxes on time, the nation’s financial illiteracy is put on display. Many individuals rely on accountants or online preparation services to complete their forms. For people who lack access to these tools, they could lose out on refunds or unknowingly rack up significant penalties. Lack of knowledge about everyday financial issues also leads to other big problems like credit card and other debt, non-existent budgeting techniques, and bankruptcy.

These personal financial crises have a broader impact on the economy. Such effects have compelled an increasing number of states to mandate personal financial literacy courses into public school curriculums. The classes prepare students with practical knowledge and tips they will use every day of their adult lives. Students who have taken these courses often rank the classes among the most beneficial of their entire education.

Only about half of states have made financial literacy a centerpiece of school curriculums. Sign the petition below to urge more investment in courses that can help students thrive in the real world.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Cardona,

About one-quarter of American adults report having no trusted financial advisor. And almost 70 percent of Americans believe they do not even have one month’s worth of emergency funds. Financial literacy could help close these troubling gaps and stabilize Americans’ finances, and–over time–the economy as a whole.

Taking out loans, applying for credit cards, securing affordable insurance, budgeting for monthly expenses: all of these “adulting” tasks and so much more will confront Americans as they leave school and enter the workforce. Yet a large majority of these new adults will be ill-prepared to address financial issues in a sensible and healthy way. Many students feel as if much of the knowledge they acquire in school will have no practical benefit in their day-to-day lives. Personal finance education and financial literacy are a notable exception to that belief, and students overwhelmingly report enjoyment and usefulness from these courses.

The problem: only half of states incorporate such classes into their core curriculums. Please launch a campaign of awareness that will promote widespread adoption of financial literacy into public schools. For once, let politicians focus on expanding rather than narrowing learning opportunities.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Nataliya Voitkevich


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