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The Survey of the States is a biennial report that brings attention to the critical importance of economics and personal finance education by documenting its status in the fifty states and the District of Columbia.

The recent economic downturn has brought nationwide attention to the dangers of a financially illiterate society. The 2011 Survey shows that while there has clearly been progress since the first Survey in 1998, that over the last two years, the trend is slowing and in some cases moving backwards.

The survey can facilitate an important dialogue that must take place between those who recognize that this knowledge is critical for young people and the decision makers that can effect change.

Key Findings

The number of states that now require students to take an economics course as a high school graduation requirement increased from 21 in 2009 to 22 in 2011.
However, only 16 states require the testing of student knowledge in economics, 3 fewer than in 2009.
No improvement has been seen in the area of personal finance. The number of states that require students to take a personal finance course (or personal finance included in an economics course) as a high school graduation requirement remains at 13.
Only 2 more states now require that personal finance content standards be implemented, bringing the total to 36.

More and full report

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.

Read more:

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


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.

More... Blake Jones Feb 19, 2012

A Lake George man is working to bring a financial literacy program to schools, banks - and even television.

Tony Intelisano, a local resident with a background in television syndication, has been working with downstate advertising executive Mark DiPippa to promote The Centsables, a group of animated superhero characters who deliver messages about financial fundamentals to children ages 6 to 12.

Intelisano said he came up with the idea because there seemed to be a lack of youth-oriented financial literacy programs in the marketplace. DiPippa created the characters and educational materials.

The pair has been developing the concept for about five years, and they said the subject matter has never been more important.

"It's more relevant today than when I first had the idea," Intelisano said, referencing the recession and financial crisis. He added that kids need to build the foundation of financial literacy early, because by high school they may have already picked up bad habits.

Read more: everyone's Future. 

A well done video to share with other adults, from HSBC

So far, we've put more than $2.5 million to work teaching high school students skills they'll bank on for a lifetime.Learn More

When students understand money, it really pays off. Watch now for a look at the world we'd like to see.

Imagine what a little personal finance education could do to change kids' financial future. Each year, H&R Block Dollars & Sense provides grants, curriculum and scholarships to bring personal finance education to high schools and teenagers nationwide. Because we'd love to see teens learn things like balancing a budget and paying a car payment, before they're out on their own.

To see if schools near you are participating or to learn more about teaching teens money management skills, visit

Charles Schwab Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America Announce Annual Innovation Award Winners for Creative Delivery of Financial Education
Teens Nationwide Learn Essential Lessons about Personal Finance through Innovative Implementation of the Money Matters: Make It Count(SM)Program

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 06, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- In an effort to recognize Boys & Girls Clubs across the nation that have gone above and beyond in teaching youth the basics of personal finance, Charles Schwab Foundation has announced the 2011 winners of the Innovation Awards. In their third year, the annual awards recognize Clubs that exemplify unique and enterprising techniques for delivering the Money Matters: Make It Count curriculum, a Charles Schwab Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America teen financial education program. One Boys & Girls Club was selected from each of the country's five geographic regions for its demonstrated commitment to making personal finance education compelling and meaningful to today's youth. The following winners will each receive a $3,000 grant from Charles Schwab Foundation.

-- Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta (Georgia),

-- Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington (Washington),

-- Boys & Girls Club of Cheyenne (Wyoming),

-- Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), and

-- Boys & Girls Club of Dane County (Wisconsin).


Claudia Buck - Sacramento Bee August 21, 2011

As summer winds down and another school year revs up, maybe you're looking for some new ways to entertain – and enlighten – your kids and teens.

How about some fun money lessons? Given Wall Street's zany zigzagging and the relentless drumbeat of stories about debt and more debt, we've all been a little preoccupied with the ups and downs of finances lately.

"It is not a topic that many parents like to talk about ... Some think money is only an adult topic. Or the schools should teach it. But that just doesn't happen," said Karyn Hodgens, a Rocklin-based kids-and-money instructor and co-founder of KidNexions, a financial education company.

Teaching kids to manage money "is like teaching your kid to ride a bike," said the former elementary school math teacher. "It takes practice. It takes making mistakes."

In recent weeks, a number of entrepreneurs, nonprofits and financial companies have launched some new money-management tools for kids, from tots to teens.

Here's a look at some:

Read more: 



By Casey McDermott, USA TODAY

Starting this fall, Virginia high school students will need more than reading, writing and arithmetic to snag a diploma.

Incoming high school freshmen will be required to take a one-credit course outlining the ABCs of economics and personal finance.

Virginia joins a handful of states, including Missouri, Utah and Tennessee, that mandate a class in financial education. Similar legislation aimed at improving students' financial literacy has been introduced in Maryland, while several states require teachers to weave personal finance lessons into existing coursework.

Combined with grassroots efforts by non-profits and financial institutions, it's all part of a nationwide push to keep Generation Y from making money mistakes that could haunt them long after they graduate from college.

For younger children, the "Money Matters: Make it Count" partnership between the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Charles Schwab Foundation has brought financial literacy lessons to more than 245,000 students since it made its debut in 2004.


Teachers Say Genworth Foundation/EverFi-Sponsored Course Enhances the Material They Teach
(ADDED NOTE by CJ$: EverFi presented its course at the LA Educators Conference on April 2, 2011)

RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Virginia high school students exposed to a new online financial literacy learning tool this past school year say they are smarter about personal finance issues than they were before and believe all Virginia high school students should take the course – that according to a survey by the Genworth Foundation, the program's sponsor, and EverFi, Inc.
Last November, the Genworth Foundation announced a three-year commitment to strengthen financial education in more than 300 high schools across the Commonwealth of Virginia by introducing a six-hour online financial literacy course - Money, My Future(SM)' - designed by Washington D.C.-based EverFi.  The EverFi program aligns with Virginia state standards and uses the latest in new media technologies - 3D gaming, social networking, online animation video and messaging tools - to make complex financial concepts compelling and relevant for today's digital generation.  The program requires minimal teacher training and few school-based resources to implement.  More than 100 high schools statewide were introduced to the course last fall.
During the 2010-2011 school year, more than 8,000 students from 84 Virginia High Schools were active on the My Money, My Future network.  Students taking the special online course spent more than 34,000 hours on the site.
A survey of participating students who took the course yielded the following results:
82% of the students participating in all nine of the course modules rated them 'valuable' or 'extremely valuable.'
70% of student respondents said that financial education was 'extremely important' for their financial future
74% of student respondents felt that all students should be required to take My Money, My Future.
45% of student respondents say they have had a conversation with their parents or an adult about personal finance since taking My Money, My Future.
86% of student respondents believed that using interactive, online technology courses similar to My Money, My Future is an effective way to teach students
Students were asked to rate their financial knowledge on a scale of 1-10 before and after taking My Money, My Future :
Before taking the course, more than 64% of student respondents rated their financial knowledge at a '4' or below
After taking the course, more than 83% of student respondents rate their financial knowledge at a '7' or above.


Among teachers, 92% felt My Money, My Future enhanced the material they were teaching and 96% would like the curriculum offered to future students in their high school.
"Freshmen at Lee High are excited each time they log in to the My Money, My Future program," said Wendy Enoch, a teacher at Robert E. Lee High School in Staunton City.   "Using components such as games and avatars to capture the attention of teenagers in an area that sometimes bores them is genius. The lessons learned through this program will guide their financial decisions well into adulthood."
In 2009, the Virginia Board of Education (VBOE) mandated a course in economics and personal finance as a requirement for high school graduation.  The mandate begins in the fall of 2011.  In implementing My Money, My Future, the Genworth Foundation will continue to work with the State Department of Education, local school districts and other nonprofits, including the Virginia Council on Economic Education, to provide teacher training and professional development at no cost to teachers or schools.
"Financial literacy empowers people to make informed and responsible choices and is a building block for a secure financial future," said Leon E. Roday, chairman of the Genworth Foundation board of directors.  "By adding private-sector expertise, resources, and funds to the work being done by non-profit organizations and community groups that specialize in financial education, we can significantly raise the quantity and quality of financial education in our schools."
About the Genworth Foundation
Established in 2005, the Genworth Foundation is the charitable giving arm of Genworth Financial.  The Foundation is committed to helping build strong communities around the world.  Each year, the Foundation makes direct investments in the community through charitable contributions and matching gifts.  For more about Genworth in the community, visit
About Genworth Financial
Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE: GNW) is a leading Fortune 500 insurance holding company that is dedicated to helping people secure their financial lives, families and futures. Genworth has leadership positions in offerings that assist consumers in protecting themselves, investing for the future and planning for retirement -- including life insurance, long term care insurance, financial protection coverages, and independent advisor-based wealth management -- and mortgage insurance that helps consumers achieve homeownership while assisting lenders in managing their risk and capital.
Genworth has approximately 6,500 employees and operates through three segments: Retirement and Protection, U.S. Mortgage Insurance and International. Its products and services are offered through financial intermediaries, advisors, independent distributors and sales specialists. Genworth Financial, which traces its roots back to 1871, became a public company in 2004 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. For more information, visit From time to time, Genworth releases important information via postings on its corporate website. Accordingly, investors and other interested parties are encouraged to enroll to receive automatic email alerts and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds regarding new postings. Enrollment information is found under the "Investors" section of
About EverFi
EverFi Inc., based in Washington, D.C., provides the leading education media platform to teach students the core concepts of financial literacy, student loan management and other key life skills.  Through its proprietary technology platform, the company is powering a national movement that enables foundations, corporations, school districts and universities in 48 states to launch community-based programs in a variety of off-curriculum subjects. EverFi's award-winning platform is designed to provide an exciting and engaging experience for students and features the latest technology, including rich media, high-definition video, diagrams and avatars.  Learn more at