Financial Education

A Call to Business Leaders

By: DAN SCHULMAN, President & CEO, PayPal 

PayPal is committed to democratizing financial services to enable all people to join and thrive in the digital economy. Whether here in the US or around the world, we believe everyone should have access to the affordable, convenient and secure financial products and services they need to improve their financial health, support their families, contribute to their communities, and invest in their futures.

But access is only part of the equation – another critical part is education. Economic and financial literacy is a foundational element to achieving financial health and needs to be included in early education programs. We have seen firsthand that improving the financial health of individuals has powerful ripple effects across families, communities, companies, and economies. And that process starts in the classroom.

Financial inclusion and financial health are problems that we can solve in our lifetimes if we truly understand the causes and challenges, and commit to partnering across the ecosystem to fix the gaps that exist in the traditional financial system. We can make a difference by forming deeper bonds between the public, private, and social sectors to develop new curriculum and educational models that foster and encourage financial literacy and understanding from an early age.

This op-ed was published in the Council for Economic Education’s 2018 Survey of the States.

POSTED: February 13, 2018 | BY: Daniel Thompson | TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2018 Survey of the States Reveals Slow to No Growth in K-12 Personal Finance and Economic Education

Now in Its 20th Year, Council for Economic Education Study Highlights Wide Gaps in Financial and Economic Education Throughout U.S. States

 

A 2017 study from the American Psychological Association reveals that money is the second leading source of stress in the United States, and the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety, which financial woes can easily trigger. Yet, according to Council for Economic Education’s (CEE) 2018 Survey of the States: Economic and Personal Finance Education in Our Nation’s Schools, financial independence may be out of reach for many because K-12 students are not receiving adequate tools and training to make informed financial decisions; only one-third of the U.S. states require high school students to take a course in personal finance, while less than half require them to take a course in economics before graduating.

Now in its 20th year, Survey of the States findings indicate that progress has been achieved, yet gains have slowed in recent years. CEE will unveil the full results at an event today at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Research shows that students in states that require financial education have higher credit scores as well as more responsible spending habits and are less prone to compulsive shopping, reducing their financial risk greatly. However, 2018 Survey of the States findings reveal:

  • The number of states that require high school students to take a course in personal finance (17) has not changed over the past four years.
  • Since 2016, there been no change in the number of states which include personal finance in their K-12 standards and require those standards to be taught.
  • 22 states require high school students to take a course in economics—less than half the country but two more states than in 2016.
  • There has been no change in the number of states that require standardized testing of economic concepts since 2014.

“When we initiated this survey in 1998, only one state required enrollment in a personal finance course while 13 required enrollment in an economics class, so clearly we’ve made some gains. Michigan, Georgia, Utah and Texas are leading the way by requiring personal finance and economics courses to be offered and taken, as well as by implementing state standards and standardized testing,” said Nan J. Morrison, President and CEO of the Council for Economic Education. “However, the majority of U.S. states are failing our students by declining to offer these fundamental courses which are critical to their financial stability and security later in life.”

CEE conducts The Survey of the States: Economic and Personal Finance Education in Our Nation’s Schools every two years. The 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.

The 2018 Survey of the States is available for download at: www.councilforeconed.org/surveyofthestates 

About the Council for Economic Education

The Council for Economic Education (CEE) is the leading non-profit 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 nearly 70 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. EconEdLink – our free, online educator gateway for economic and personal finance lessons and resources – attracts more than 1 million unique visitors annually.

Media Contacts:  

Lisa Fels Davitt
lisa@successioncommunications.com
(973) 886-1917

Kate Alexander
kate@successioncommunications.com
(201) 638-3946

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POSTED: February 8, 2018 | BY: Daniel Thompson | TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mark Cuban, Randi Zuckerberg, Andrew Ross Sorkin and others to kick-off Financial Literacy Month with “My Savings Tip” campaign

Randi Zuckerberg

On April 1, the Council for Economic Education (CEE) will kick off a month-long financial literacy campaign, enlisting Mark Cuban, Beth Kobliner, Ron Lieber, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Alexa von Tobel, Randi Zuckerberg and others to raise awareness for personal finance and economic education in our nation’s schools. Participants will share personal savings tips on social media to inform and inspire kids to understand and take control of their financial lives.

With early and continued exposure to personal finance and economics, kids grow up to be better savers, investors, borrowers, voters and participants in the global economy. They can make better financial decisions for themselves and their families. CEE, in partnership with entrepreneur Natalie Zfat and economists, entrepreneurs, business leaders and journalists (see full list below) will be sharing their savings tips, in hopes to inspire kids to understand how critically important financial literacy is to set foundations for their lives and careers.

“We’re excited to launch the My Savings Tip campaign with Natalie Zfat and this group of inspiring participants to showcase the importance of financial literacy,” said Nan J. Morrison, CEO and President, CEE.  “Hearing directly from experienced leaders and entrepreneurs about their personal savings tips is a powerful message—we can’t thank them enough for helping to inspire young people through their messages.

“I can’t think of anything more important than a child’s education,” said Natalie Zfat. “It’s an honor to work with CEE again to help teach kids how saving is such an integral part of success.”

The #MySavingsTip campaign will run across multiple social media platforms throughout April to get kids talking about how to create lives of possibility. You can follow along via our Twitter and Facebook pages.

List of Participants:

POSTED: March 28, 2017 | BY: April Somboun | TAGS: , , , , , , ,

Natalie Zfat + CEE’s 11th Annual Visionary Awards

Natalie Zfat - Visionary Awards (2)

We are delighted to announce our collaboration with Natalie Zfat, writer and entrepreneur. Natalie will be providing live coverage via our social media channels at the 11th Annual Visionary Awards dinner. She will be taking over our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages tomorrow, October 26th at 6 p.m.

Follow along as Natalie shares her experience at the Visionary Awards–where we will honor four leaders who promote economic and financial literacy to create a better-informed society. This year’s honorees include Arianna Huffington, Founder of The Huffington Post and Founder and CEO of Thrive Global; Richard Edelman, President and CEO of Edelman, the leading communications marketing firm, with 65 offices and 5,500 employees worldwide; Frank Bisignano, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of First Data Corporation; and Glenn Hubbard Dean and Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia Business School.

Also, we will award the winners of the 4th annual Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Teaching Champion Awards, honoring three outstanding NYC metropolitan area teachers for excellence in economic education: Theresa Fisher, Ridgefield High School, Ridgefield, CT; Jonathan Joseph, White Plains High School, White Plains, NY; and Gloria Schneider, SAR High School, Bronx, NY.

Thank you, Natalie for your continued support of our mission and spreading word about the importance of personal finance and economic education.

POSTED: October 25, 2016 | BY: April Somboun | TAGS: , , , , , , ,

Graduating From Test Scores to Credit Scores

_DSC6347Brian Page 8x10 hi res for print

Written by: Brian Page, Chair, Council for Economic Education Teacher Advisory Council

Later this spring, high schools across the country will be graduating students from a world of test scores to a world of credit scores. Many teens will unknowingly be making decisions that will impact them in the decade to come. Yet most lawmakers have fallen short of respecting personal finance as a dedicated subject worthy of stand alone classes required for graduation, taught by teachers trained to teach it well. It’s time we work together to advocate on behalf of high school students to prepare them for the real world.

High school science, math and language arts teachers receive content specific instruction in college, and are required to pass content specific tests to earn teacher certification. Personal finance… not so much. Often times when mandates are passed, they require the integration of personal finance into other coursework. The mandate is often dumped into the laps of teachers who have never been trained to teach personal finance.

A FINRA Investor Education Foundation-funded study, State Financial Education Mandates: It’s All in the Implementation, examined the effectiveness of state mandates on financial education for high-school students. The study noted that if a rigorous financial education program is carefully implemented, it can improve the credit scores and lower the probability of credit delinquency for young adults. In other words, we need to train our teachers, require semester courses devoted to personal finance, and use hands on teaching methods that focus on relevant content.

NCLB aside, our country has historically been a locally controlled education system. This changed following the financial collapse in 2008. Somehow a banking collapse led to education “reform”, and schools were faced with a multitude of new evaluation systems and testing requirements. Subsequently, schools and lawmakers now seem to lack the appetite to pass further education mandates. This should not preclude us from trying, using a common sense approach that does not further burden our schools. I’m confident that if asked, parents and teens would be much happier about recent reform efforts if standardized test scores were a little less important, and helping them build their own credit scores were a little more important.

POSTED: April 7, 2016 | BY: April Somboun | TAGS: , , , , , , , , , ,

Working to Advance Financial Education in Schools

Richard Cordray "Financial Education"
By Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

 

As we observe National Financial Literacy Month, let us all continue our efforts to ensure children and youth develop the skills and habits that will help them to make better financial decisions as they become adults. There is not a single good reason – none – that should prevent any American from gaining the knowledge and skills needed to build a healthy financial future.

With a growing number of committed public, private, and nonprofit organizations working to advance K-12 financial education, no one needs to go it alone. Just recently, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) developed a resource guide to support leaders interested in advancing K-12 financial education by connecting them to ongoing conversations and providing access to information, tools, and resources. The guide includes a framework, case studies and strategies on how best to lay the groundwork, build the initiative, and extend the impact of K-12 financial education. The resource guide is called “Advancing K-12 Financial Education: A Guide for Policymakers” and is available for download.

When I served as the Franklin County Treasurer in Ohio a decade ago, we formed a local committee on personal financial education to help further the vision of a society where everyone could strengthen their financial skills. We gathered information about school programs for young people and community programs for adults, and we matched people up with those available resources. With the support of a broad coalition we created an impetus for what is now an Ohio state law that requires personal financial education for all high school students through the integration of economics and financial literacy within social studies classes or another class. Ohio is one of 17 states to require that high school students take a personal finance course in order to graduate.

Achieving meaningful and lasting change will require bold and innovative approaches. The CFPB resource guide is a bridge to connect leaders with tools, information, and insights to help them enhance K-12 financial education efforts. As policymakers continue to explore options to incorporate financial education throughout the K-12 experience, I hope that everyone who is interested in financial education for our nation’s children will use this guide and share it with others.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” This may be most true in the case of financial education. Starting early with age-appropriate and relevant financial education and consistently reinforcing those lessons throughout the K-12 school experience can help children and youth develop positive habits and skills that can make a lifetime of difference in their financial well-being.

POSTED: April 22, 2015 | BY: Daniel Thompson | TAGS: , , , ,

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