When I was in 2nd grade we loved our classroom store where we learned about buying, selling, and making change
I've been reading lately that there is a push for teaching more financial literacy in the schools--and not a moment too soon, given the state of our economy! One article I read in our local newspaper (Clovis News Journal, print edition, Sunday, March 15, 2009) stated that high school students surveyed believed that they would be earning an average of $143,000 a year as adults. Few of those same students even knew how to set up a budget.
Here are some other points made in the article:
-Kids as young as 16 receive credit card applications
-These same kids are financially illiterate--they don't understand interest, minimum payments, credit reports, identity theft, or that they will be paying off their student loans for years to come
-One third of college students have 4 credit cards apiece by the time they graduate
-More than half of college graduates already owe $5000 each in high interest debt
-The number of 18 to 24-year olds declaring bankruptcy has increased 96% in the last 10 years
When I taught in a middle school, many of my students were convinced that they would become rich and/or famous by being rock stars, highly paid athletes, or by winning the lottery. These were the same kids, I'm afraid, who were not trying very hard in their academic courses--they were just kicking back, waiting for the money to start rolling in.
U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) has "introduced legislation that will make a substantial commitment to revamp financial literacy programs in K-12 schools and colleges. The bill, the Financial Literacy Improvement Act of 2008, will invest $250 million to support new personal finance education programs." To read more about her proposed bill, see her press release.