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Despite Really Nasty Financial Crisis, Teaching Kids About Money Not A Priority

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By Loren Berlin  |  Huffington Post

While The Great Recession has left millions of Americans unemployed and wiped out countless retirement accounts, it hasn't inspired educators to get serious about teaching financial literacy. Today, less than half of states require high school students to take an economics class and fewer states require high schools to offer financial literacy classes than in 2009, according to a new report from the Council on Economic Education.

Since 2009 only one state has introduced new requirements that high school students study economics in order to graduate, while three states actually stopped testing students' knowledge of the field, according to the report. Financial literacy courses haven't fared much better. As of 2009, 15 states required high schools to at least offer such classes. Today that number has dropped to 14.

By downplaying the importance of financial literacy, states are missing out on the chance to better equip high schoolers to succeed as adults, according to a 2010 study from the National Endowment for Financial Education.

After surveying nearly 16,000 college students, researchers concluded that students from states that required a financial education class were "more likely to display positive financial behaviors." Specifically, when compared to their peers, these students were more likely to save money, less likely to max out their credit cards, less likely to make late credit card payments and less likely to be compulsive buyers.

Full article and map of States