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Teaching youngsters about money management now helps them make wise choices later :

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By Rachel McGrath
Posted April 7, 2012

There are likely few people who have weathered the recession of the past four years unscathed and that's one reason, advocates say, that children need to be better prepared for their personal economic future.

Margo White works for Junior Achievement of Southern California, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating students about entrepreneurship and financial literacy through hands-on activities.

"What we have just experienced as a nation and continue to deal with, how adults manage money or not, has become a topic at the forefront of people's thoughts on a daily basis. It has brought the topic of financial education to a level it's never been in the past," White said.

April is National Financial Literacy Month. More than half of U.S. adults admit that they do not have a budget, according to the 2012 Financial Literacy Survey released this month by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association.

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- vcstar.com

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

 

Financial, nonprofit, schools join on financial literacy

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Redwood Credit Union, national groups trying to fill education gap

By Eric Gneckow, Business Journal Staff Reporter

NORTH BAY — At a time of historic strain on funding for schools in California, a number of local and national efforts are under way to support training in what many say is an important and often overlooked life skill for young adults — personal finance.

It's an issue that has drawn attention from the likes of the White House and California schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson — that a marked lack of money management skills helped fuel a surge in consumer debt in recent years, besieging personal finances and slowing down the nation's economic recovery.

Yet despite that high level of support for financial literacy efforts, education officials said the solution is not as simple as creating a required financial literacy curriculum in California. Mandated courses come with mandated costs — costs that not every school district can afford.

"Every time we mandate a course, it's $1 million dollars," said Nancy Miller, director of career pathways and community outreach at Santa Rosa City Schools. That district could face an $8 million cut in the next fiscal year.

In lieu of a mandated course and in an approach advocated at the state and national level, schools in the North Bay have chosen to integrate financial literacy into their academic offerings, embracing the topic while pursuing partnerships with nonprofits and financial institutions that enhance those efforts at no cost to districts.

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