April is National Financial Literacy Month, a time to promote awareness and the need for increased financial education for students and adults.
The promotion of financial literacy began in the early 2000s with Congress championing the official recognition of a bill that supported techniques and teachings for increased financial knowledge. Its implementation focused on financial fundamentals for the federal government, localities, non-profits, and schools, including how to develop a budget, ways to invest and save, how to balance a checkbook, and other financial basics.
Since the holiday’s inception, 11 states have passed regulations requiring students to take a stand-alone personal finance course to graduate. The most recent state to enact this type of mandate is Florida, making it the most populated state to require such a program. There are currently 54 personal financial education bills pending in 26 states, and over 20 states have already implemented financial literacy programs into their curriculums in other capacities.
State legislation, such as Florida’s new law that applies to students entering ninth grade, seeks to teach personal fiscal responsibility so students aren’t at a disadvantage as they become more financially independent. Building foundational money management skills helps set students and young adults up for a successful future.
Educators recognize the importance of financial literacy education more than ever after the pandemic has upended the economy as well as the lives of students and new graduates. According to the Milken Institute, only 57% of Americans are financially literate with youth falling significantly below this level, citing the increased urgency to change the trajectory.
Beyond required classes, there are other available resources that can assist individuals in changing and improving their financial behavior and literacy. One resource that Kuder Navigator® offers is a nine-module Financial Literacy 101 online program, which gives students an introduction to financial concepts and ideas, develops awareness, and encourages empowerment around financial decisions. Other resources can be found at a local and state level or through partnering with academic and financial literacy experts.
Educators can begin the process of incorporating a financial literacy program into their curriculum by examining what states with mandated financial literacy education requirements recommend for classrooms and by advocating for the adoption of statewide programs that support these measures. April is the perfect month to get involved, whether through direct parental mentorship, creating a proposal for the local school board, or standing behind candidates at the local, state, and national levels who advocate for blanket financial literacy education. Educators can also encourage parental involvement in the same activities, so they stay at the forefront of their child(ren)’s education. Financial literacy can only succeed if all students and adults have access to the proper tools and solutions to support them.
To learn more about Kuder Navigator’s Financial Literacy 101 course, please reach out to a Kuder representative today.