July 15, 2019
The Need for Financial Education
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A few weeks ago, retired Admiral William H. McRaven USN was interviewed on Fox News. Admiral McRaven served thirty-seven years in the Navy with great distinction. As a Four-Star Admiral, his final assignment as a Navy Seal was Commander of all US Special Operations Forces. He saw combat in both Iraq and Afganistan. When asked "What is the most serious threat to the United States today?" He replied, "K through twelve."
In the June 18, 2019 article of MarketWatch by Andrew Keshner,"Treasury Department Recommends Mandatory Financial Literacy Courses for College Students," US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, "It is vital for our higher education institutions to offer students the resources and information they need to make financial decisions that best fit their needs and career aspirations." The Financial Literacy and Education Commission-a group including the Treasury Department and the Department of Education-said such best practices are especially important now that Americans have become bogged down in $1.5 trillion in student loan debt." The article goes on to describe the other recommendations in the report.
The question one might ask is why wait until college and what about those that are not going to college? It seems appropriate for our school systems to require financial education starting in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Junior Achievement provides a great resource in understanding finances, economics, and entrepreneurship. The curriculum provides lesson plans involving exercises with hands-on training for grades K through twelve. It is a voluntary program taught by volunteers.
CPALMS (Collaborate, Plan, Align, Learn, Motivate and Share) is a significant program developed by Florida State University that provides tools for various subject matter that aligns with the State of Florida's learning objectives. It is used by individuals and organizations worldwide. It provides excellent courses in financial education.
So what can we do in the business community to better prepare our children and future employees? Get involved. Volunteer to work with Junior Achievement. Talk to the educators and politicians to incorporate financial courses in K through 12th grade. Have local colleges offer such courses as part of their curriculum and include night classes for those wanting to better understand finances for both personal and business reasons.
Together we can make it happen.
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