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New Survey Findings Show Financial Literacy Lagging in K-12 Public Schools

POSTED: April 1, 2014 | BY: CEE Staff | TAGS: , , , ,

Council for Economic Education Offers Teacher and Student Resources for Financial Literacy Month

NEW YORK, NY April 1, 2014 – Since 2003, the US has recognized April as Financial Literacy Month, shining a spotlight on the importance of personal finance and economic education. And yet, a new survey from the Council for Economic Education (CEE) reveals slow to no growth in K–12 personal finance and economic education in public schools. According to the Council for Economic Education’s 2014 Survey of the States, a majority of the public school students in the United States still are not exposed to economics or personal finance education despite the lessons of the recent recession.

Previous research has demonstrated that students from states with required financial education courses are more likely to save, less likely to max out their credit cards or make late credit card payments, more likely to pay off credit cards each month and less likely to be compulsive buyers.

Yet only 22 of the 50 states require high school students to take an economics course and only 16 states require testing of economics concepts, the survey found. Two years ago when a similar survey was taken, the totals were the same. And only 17 states require high school students to take a personal finance course and just 6 require testing of personal finance concepts; up slightly from 2011, but not significantly.

Fortunately, there are plenty of great resources for teachers and students from organizations like CEE:

And as a special Financial Literacy Month initiative, CEE is launching a Search for the Sweet 16th Contest, challenging students to create a brand new mission for Gen i Revolution—the winning entry will have its mission developed and added to the game, with additional prizes for students and teacher sponsors.

For additional information and to learn how you can take action visit or visit

About the Council for Economic Education

The Council for Economic Education is the leading organization in the United States that focuses on the economic and financial education of students from kindergarten through high school—and we have been doing so for 65 years. We carry out our mission by educating the educators: providing the curriculum tools, the pedagogical support, and the community of peers that instruct, inspire, and guide. All resources and programs are developed by educators, and delivered by our national network of affiliates. Our goal is to reach and teach every child. Each year CEE’s programs reach more than 55,000 K–12 teachers and over 5 million students across the United States.

For further information about the Council for Economic Education go to:

About the Survey of the States

The Survey of the States: Economic and Personal Finance Education in Our Nation’s Schools is conducted every two years by the CEE. The biennial report collects data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and includes commentary from experts and educators in the field to provide a comprehensive look into the state of K–12 economic and financial education in the United States. Click here to access the interactive Survey of the States online. The 2014 Survey of the States was made possible by funding from Capital One Financial Corporation.

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