BURLINGTON, Vt.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Responding to a national need to produce more financially literate citizens, Champlain College's Center for Financial Literacy has issued a report card that grades the 50 states on personal finance education in high schools.
"The focus is on high schools because that is where data is and it's where personal finance education belongs," says John Pelletier, director of the center. "For many Americans, education stops at high school. A college education is not the solution. Very few colleges offer a personal finance elective for students to take and just a few institutions require personal finance instruction as a graduation requirement."
State grades are based on financial literacy legislation summaries maintained by National Conference of State Legislatures for the last 14 years and on reports issued by the JumpStart Coalition and the Council for Economic Education.
“States at a minimum should require personal finance topics be taught as part of another required course," says Pelletier. "A standalone high school course is often difficult to achieve.” Another barrier, he says, is teacher training. Champlain offers a summer graduate- level course for teachers in Vermont.
"We were only able to give 40 percent of states grades that you would want your children to bring home from school-grades A or B," Pelletier says. "My dream, of course, would be for all states to earn an A grade. I hope that over the next year the states with grades C, D and F will do much more to bring these critically important topics to their high school students."
Champlain College's Center for Financial Literacy is nationally acclaimed, one-of-a-kind program aimed at increasing knowledge of money matters in classrooms across the country, ensure college students graduate with the skills to make sound decisions about spending, credit and investments, and help adults navigate difficult financial situations like buying a home and saving for retirement. A partnership among several financial institutions, non-profit entities and governmental agencies, its goals are to promote and develop financial literacy skills in K-12 students, college students, teachers (K-12 and college) and adults, and advocate for financial education opportunities at the local, state and national level.