AS RHODE ISLAND’S STATE TREASURER, I am reminded every day of the critical importance of equipping our students with financial literacy skills so that they are able to make smart financial decisions throughout their lives. I am proud to be a part of recent efforts in Rhode Island to do just that.
The Survey of the States played an important role in propelling change in Rhode Island. The 2014 Survey showed that our state had no standards, course requirements, or statewide testing in personal finance. A group of concerned high school students in Rhode Island recognized that they are making life-altering financial decisions on education, housing, and transportation immediately after, and often even before, their high school graduation. They took it upon themselves to do something to improve the state’s educational system. In November 2014, they successfully advocated for the adoption of CEE’s National Standards for Financial Literacy as Rhode Island’s first-ever statewide standards. As a result, Rhode Island is now “on the map” when looking at the status of personal finance education across the nation.
Yet there is still more work to be done. Here in Rhode Island, we continue to build on the financial literacy initiative that began with those few motivated Rhode Island teenagers. A coalition of interested policymakers, educators, and industry leaders has been working together to build the financial capability of our youth so that the next generation will be better able to make informed decisions that positively impact their financial future, as well as our society as a whole. Thanks to organizations like the Rhode Island Council for Economic Education, we’re working to provide resources and professional development to teachers, and continuing to build awareness of the need for financial education throughout the state, region, and country.
Visit our website, http://SurveyoftheStates.com for an interactive experience and download the study. And, find out where you state stands in economics and personal finance education and how you can take action today.