Leadership Symposium Early Bird Deadline Approaching | Join K-12 leaders nationwide for three days of empowering strategies, networking, and inspiration! Discounted pricing ends March 1. Register today.
Curriculum

Financial-Literacy Challenges Seen

By Rhea R. Borja — May 17, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Financial education in the nation’s schools seems to have taken one step ahead and a half-step back.

Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia include economics in their academic standards—that’s up from 38 in 1998, according to the National Council on Economic Education, a group based in New York City. In addition, 17 states require high schools to offer an economics course, and 15 states have made it a graduation requirement.

Yet a hard-won $1.5 million federal grant for economic education has been tagged for elimination in President Bush’s budget plan for fiscal 2006. And the proposed cut comes as a new national survey shows that many college students are, if not financially illiterate, then fiscally challenged.

The NCEE was the first recipient in 2004 of what is called the Excellence in Economic Education Grant. Over the past year, the NCEE has used that money to award mini-grants to more than 100 nonprofit groups, universities, and schools for financial-literacy teacher training, classroom materials, and economic education research.

Chad Colby, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Education, said the program may be cut because it has a limited impact.

The grant’s uncertain status concerns Robert F. Duvall, the chief executive officer and president of the NCEE.

“I cannot understand the rationale for penciling out this program,” he said.

Personal savings, for example, have dropped from 7 percent of disposable income in 1990 to 1.2 percent in 2004, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Young Americans don’t seem to be doing any better, according to a new survey for Citi Credit-ED, a credit education program run by Citigroup, the giant financial-services company based in New York City.

While 90 percent of the 1,060 college students surveyed said that good credit is important, a third have missed a credit-card payment or paid one late, according to the survey conducted by Harris Interactive Inc., a Rochester, N.Y.-based market-research firm.

“We’ve got to get to kids precollege,” Mr. Duvall said. “Financial literacy is not something you’re born with. It’s a learned behavior. And you’re either going to learn it from teachers, or you’re going to learn it the hard way.”

Events

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Science of Reading: Emphasis on Language Comprehension
Dive into language comprehension through a breakdown of the Science of Reading with an interactive demonstration.
Content provided by Be GLAD
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Curriculum Explainer Social Studies and Science Get Short Shrift in Elementary Schools. Why That Matters
Learn why the subjects play a key role in elementary classrooms—and how new policy debates may shift the status quo.
10 min read
Science teacher assists elementary school student in the classroom
iStock / Getty Images Plus
Curriculum Letter to the Editor Finance Education in Schools Must Be More Than Personal
Schools need to teach students to see how their spending impacts others, writes the executive director of the Institute for Humane Education.
1 min read
Education Week opinion letters submissions
Gwen Keraval for Education Week
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Whitepaper
Media Literacy for the Digital Era: A Must-Have Guide
Equip educators and students with strategies to discern truth amidst misinformation and AI with practical strategies and interactive acti...
Content provided by Britannica Education
Curriculum Q&A Why One District Hired Its Students to Review Curricula
Virginia's Hampton City school district pays a cadre of student interns to give feedback on curriculum.
3 min read
Kate Maxlow, director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment at Hampton City Schools, who helped give students a voice in curriculum redesign, works in her office on January 12, 2024.
Kate Maxlow is the director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment in Virginia's Hampton City school district. She worked with students to give them a voice in shaping curriculum.
Sam Mallon/Education Week