Personal financial literacy sounds like a mouthful. But really, it is a simple concept. And one that needs to be placed front and center in our schools going forward.
The issue of whether young people are learning how to balance a checkbook or how to recognize the effect that a change in income has on a home budget is especially important in an era when a lack of that kind of basic ability contributed mightily to the nation’s financial meltdown.
Despite 2008 legislation that called for the development of a statewide plan for a school curriculum to develop personal financial literacy, Rhode Island remains on the wrong side of the issue.
At least one school – the New England Laborers/Cranston Public Schools Construction and Career Academy – has integrated personal-financial-literacy concepts into its entire curriculum, giving its students “survival skills,” in the words of Robert Scaffardi, the academic-program director of the charter school. And he added, “You never hear complaints about learning about money.” •