Thad Cochran & MS Teacher Agree on Financial Literacy Benefits

POSTED: April 27, 2012 | BY: Leslie Rasimas | TAGS: , , , ,

Sharra Jones Testifies at Senate Hearing on Mississippi Financial Literacy Program

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 26 – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today concurred with points made by a Mississippi elementary school teacher at a U.S. Senate hearing on the benefits of increasing financial literacy among students.

Sharra Jones, a third grade teacher at Oak Park Elementary School in Laurel, was among the witnesses invited to testify at a “Financial Literacy:  Empowering Americans to Prevent the Next Financial Crisis” hearing called by the Oversight of Government Management Subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

“I am pleased that Sharra Jones has given the Senate testimony on the positive effects that financial literacy is having on students in Mississippi.  Our state and the nation has a whole would benefit from a citizenry that understands their finances more clearly,” said Cochran, who is the lead Republican sponsor of the Financial and Economic Literacy Improvement Act (S.865) to authorize a federal grant program to support the teaching of financial literacy in K-12 and two and four-year colleges.

Jones provided testimony on the benefits of incorporating financial literacy instruction into classroom curriculums at multiple grade levels.  The mathematics teacher also discussed the training provided by the Mississippi Council on Economic Education (MCEE), as well as the follow-up training provided to teachers.

“The information I received at the professional development workshops helped me to make a real world connection for my students.  They were able to understand the importance of why financial literacy and mathematics were useful in real life,” Jones said.  “Students scored 48 percent on a test of knowledge of personal financial issues before our training and scored 86 percent after completing the program.”

Mississippi is among states that require students to take an economic education course and encourage school districts to offer high school courses in personal finance education.

“Students who learn financial literacy at an early age are more likely to become productive students in high school and college.  They will be more capable of going into a career that will be beneficial to them.  When they get out in society they are more likely to make better financial decisions that will help decrease the nation’s debt situation,” Jones concluded.

MCEE is a nonprofit organization that provides training and resources to improve economics, entrepreneurship and personal finance education courses by public and private K-12 educators.  It partners with the Mississippi Department of Education to offer professional development workshops for teachers and educational challenges for students. These workshops are provided through six Centers for Economic Education located at Delta State University, Millsaps College, Mississippi College, Mississippi State University, the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of Mississippi.

In 2003, Congress passed legislation establishing the U.S. Financial Literacy Education Commission within the Department of the Treasury to begin a more concerted effort to provide Americans with more information about personal finance management.

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