By Senator Josh Stein, 16th District of North Carolina Senator.
Financial Literacy is critically important to the health of our nation and our state. If anyone ever doubted that statement, just consider our current economic situation.
We are in the midst of a slow recovery from the Great Recession created by the financial crisis, which was a result of financial markets that were out of whack and borrowers not understanding what they were getting themselves into.
A basic understanding of financial matters gives children a foundation from which they can to tackle more complex activities as they get older. Adults, both young and old, need to make decisions that will enhance their quality of life, rather than create problems for them that lead to stress and potentially financial ruin. Mastering basic personal finance skills help people make those sound decisions.
I introduced legislation in 2009 to establish a Financial Literacy Council to accomplish the following:
- Coordinate a statewide delivery of financial education with the public school system,
- Identify programs designed to increase the financial literacy of North Carolinians outside NC the public school system, and
- Work to expand access to financial education resources and programs in communities across North Carolina
The bill had broad, bi-partisan support and was enacted into law in July 2009.
I applaud the Council’s efforts to date. It has recently been reconstituted, and I look forward to the innovative ideas from our newly appointed Council members who are committed to ensuring that citizens, from an early age, have access to helpful resources and affordable financial services options.
A more financially able population produces greater participation in asset-building activities and greater financial stability, both of which lead to more financially healthy families and a stronger economy for us all.
“The need for financial education in the United States has never been greater. The precipitous drop in savings rates and the rise of personal debt indicates a looming crisis that will be averted only through the combined efforts of public and private sectors, educators and, in the end, individuals making informed choices about their own financial futures. These problems will not be solved by education alone, but we are certain that they cannot be solved without education.”
— NASAA (North American Securities Administrators Association)