Treasurer Magaziner today released a white paper which calls for an increase in the level of high-quality personal finance instruction in Rhode Island public schools.
"As soon as young adults turn eighteen, they are faced with financial decisions that can either help them achieve their greatest dreams or threaten them with financial ruin," said Treasurer Magaziner. "Unfortunately, too many young people in Rhode Island are not receiving financial literacy education in school and are unprepared to make financial decisions that will affect the rest of their lives."
Thirty-six states guarantee access to personal finance education in their public-school curriculum. Rhode Island does not.
The paper, Fallen Behind: Rhode Island's Personal Finance Crisis and the Urgent Need for Stronger Personal Finance Education in Public Schools, provides an overview of the effects that a lack of personal finance has on young people in the State. Additionally, it provides a list of low and no-cost resources currently available to educators, along with a list of nine recommendations to increase financial literacy and improve financial outcomes for Rhode Island students.
While the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) has published voluntary standards for teaching personal finance, only a third of high school graduates in Rhode Island are receiving financial education.
Among the Treasurer's recommendations included in the paper is a requirement that all public high schools to offer a course that includes personal finance instruction aligned to the RIDE standards by academic year 2019-2020. Districts should have the freedom to decide how to make the instruction available, so that students are able demonstrate a fundamental understanding of personal finance to graduate, beginning with the class of 2022.
The white paper can be downloaded at www.treasury.ri.gov/FallenBehind
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