Wisconsin Could Soon Set The Bar For Personal Finance Education – Money Perception

Just 17 states in the United States require high school students to take a course in personal finance, according to the Council for Economic Education.

And while the sheer lack of access to personal finance education may seem abysmal it actually gets worse as according to the report, a mere 20 states required high school students to take a course in economics in 2016, which is actually two fewer states than in 2014.

It should come as little surprise then that a 2012 worldwide assessment of young people’s financial literacy found that more than one in six students in the United States failed to reach the baseline level of proficiency. Overall, the Council for Economic Education’s report said, American students fall in the middle of the pack globally, performing on average just behind Latvia and just ahead of Russia.

Thankfully, states like Wisconsin are looking to change this statistic by potentially introducing a financial literacy curriculum to its required courses in K-12 schools.

In June the Wisconsin Assembly passed a bill that will require each school board to adopt academic standards and incorporate instruction in financial literacy into its curriculum. The bill passed with bipartisan support.

One of the bill’s major backers is the Wisconsin Bankers Association.

“We want to pull out all the stops to help raise the financial acumen for everybody in Wisconsin,” Michael Semmann of the Wisconsin Bankers Association told the Journal Sentinel.

Semmann additionally explained to Forbes that the group and the bill aim to assist students in many different phases of their education to have a “sustained understanding and sustained effort” in financial literacy.

Learnings, Semmann noted, could include a third grader being instructed on the basic concept of what is money and how it works or even provide instruction on budgeting and saving his or her allowance.