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Kids Financial Literacy – or Illiteracy

baby with shareholder kitLast night, Leslie and I attended the Financial Beginnings Annual event and enjoyed an evening with many who feel the same way we do about the need to get kids money smart.  Financial Beginnings is a non-profit organization founded by Melody Thompson here in Portland that provides curriculum and volunteers to go into the classroom to teach kids personal finance.

We were happy to donate a share of Berkshire Hathaway stock and an “I’m A Shareholder KIT” that went to a lucky winner.  We sat at a table with three teachers – all energetic, all believers, and all going the extra mile to figure out a way school their kids about finances.  You see in Oregon, like many other states, personal finance is not a part of the required curriculum.  It’s my blog so I get to say “That’s just plain dumb!”

One of my favorite speakers was State Senator Rick Metsger a Democrat who sounded like a Republican when he pointed out that we could avoid much of the financial protection legislation we have if people just had some basic personal finance knowledge to avoid getting in trouble in the first place.

You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t think personal finance should be a required part of school curriculum.   The only ney-sayers that I’ve ever heard are school district types who have the same retort that goes something like this:  “all resources are focused on meeting reading and math standards so which do you want to give up?”   Give that kind of a response in the corporate world and you’d be booted out the door!

So you have society paying a large price for a population that is financially illiterate, parents clamoring for personal finance to be part of the school curriculum, school administrators unwilling to find a way to get the job done, and teachers stuck in the middle.

Well, I’ve gotten myself all  riled up so I’m going to hold off on offering my simple, non-nonsense thoughts on how we should clean up this mess for a later date – stay tuned.

Okay, I’ll give you a little taste…

1) It Starts With Parents  – more to come…

One Response to “Kids Financial Literacy – or Illiteracy”

  1. Here! Here!

    Thanks for the great plug Rick. We just need to keep bringing the issue at the forefront so we can continue to get headway.

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