Selena Swartzfager, leader of the Mississippi Council for Economic Education, writes an insightful article about second chances and the importance of raising your children to know sound economic principles. Swartzfager believes that no one is ever too young to become financially literate. It doesn’t matter if you’re only twelve, you can still learn about opportunity costs, the importance of savings and W-9s.
It’s a sobering thought: Florida’s students are graduating high school without a good understanding of how to manage money.
The unfortunate truth is, nearly half of Florida’s graduating seniors lack comprehension of financial basics like credit scores, balancing checkbooks, paying back loans and avoiding bankruptcy. For each student who graduates prepared, another leaves school unready to meet financial challenges.
One of the reasons for this is lack of adequate financial education. A recent study by the Council for Economic Education found that students in states with a specific, required financial literacy course were more likely to save and pay off credit cards, and less likely to be compulsive buyers and make late payments.
Florida took a step in the right direction in 2013 by including financial literacy content in its education standards – but it didn’t go far enough.
While deliberating the bill that introduced some level of financial education to our students, lawmakers became alarmed by the growing trend of crushing personal debt incurred by high-school graduates. Research has shown this debt not only impairs their ability to find a job, but also their ability to keep one.
Fortunately, lawmakers did the right thing in that 2013 bill that required financial literacy for our high-school students. The Florida Department of Education also studied the cost of a one-semester, half-credit statewide course and found it to be very reasonable, as little as $140,000. And last month, the DOE finished updating our state’s education standards to prepare for a required financial literacy course.
So what’s left to do?
Lawmakers just need now to finish what they’ve started, by passing legislation to create that required course on financial literacy. We call it the Money Course. But Florida’s students – and businesses – may well call it a lifesaver when our graduating seniors hit campuses, offices and shops knowing how to keep and manage their money for a lifetime.
This article was originally written by Michael Bell and posted on the Pensacola News Journal July 26th 2014.
If you thought Keurigs have made paper coffee filters a thing of the past, think again. From filtration systems and custom hand-held fans to lampshades and taco holders, students participating in this year’s Meaningful Economics (ME*) Competition came up with creative new uses for Melitta Bentz’s 106-year old patented product.
The ME* Competition, produced by the University of Delaware’s Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship with support from the Delaware CEE, was held recently in May, inviting Delaware elementary students to design products or services which solved an economic problem—this year’s being to help producers clear leftover inventories in a post-Keurig world.
Participating teams gave their designs catchy names, determined target markets, priced products, and planned modes of distribution. The resulting plans were then pitched to a panel of judges.
Teams were also judged in written test and production activity rounds. For the latter, students assembled a card game, matching idioms related to the use of money with their meanings. Students cut and pasted while learning about team management and job specialization, ultimately being judged by the quality and quantity of their output.
This year marked the ME* Competition’s 28th run, involving 550 students throughout Delaware. It is produced annually in partnership with Bank of America and Discover with the help of judges from Capital One and JPMorgan Chase.
ICEE is celebrating 60 years in 2014. Jeff Sanson, Executive Director at the Indiana Council for Economic Education had the chance to sit down recently with a local public media radio station, WBAA, to discuss ICEE’s past, present and future. You can listen to the interview here.