Oregon Takes Lead in Personal Finance Education (Business Insider)   Leave a comment

,Oregon Jump$tart, a coalition of banks, government agencies, corporations and non-profits, are working as hard as possible to make sure Oregonians are not victims of their own financial illiteracy. Oregon had the chance to do its share but dropped the ball in 1997 when the legislature removed the financial literacy requirement from high schools. Many believe it was a lack of financial education nationwide that contributed to the mortgage crisis and trouble managing credit card debt. This has sparked the coalition to push for the teaching of financial literacy in the classroom, beginning as early as elementary school.

Two School Districts Prevail

In 1997, the Oregon Legislature did away with the financial literacy requirement whereby students were required to enroll in a personal finance class instead of additional algebra and geometry classes.

However, two school districts – the Bethel and Junction City school districts – continued to require their high school students to take a personal finance course, which covers basic financial decision-making. For instance, a Junction City teacher, Mark Schneider, recently taught seniors about debt-to-income ratios, over-limit fees, universal default, and bankruptcy, according to The Register Guard. Schneider also warned his students that the two biggest ways to mess up their lives are a lack of savings and mishandled credit.

Schneider even assigns students a hands-on project where they get a feel for monthly budgeting and taking out a loan for a car.

New Personal Finance Standards

With the support of the Jump$tart coalition, the Oregon State Board of Education recently began brainstorming about new personal finance content standards for their schools. The board plans on adopting new standards within the next three months related to credit, personal information security, insurance, and investing.

Hopefully, these new standards will help students avoid costly mistakes in their financial lives. And, hopefully, teachers will give it the importance it deserves. Among the topics students need to learn is how and when to apply for credit cards to build credit, how to fill out credit card applications and whether to apply for a credit card or a debit card.

The Oregon Jump$tart Coalition’s website http://www.orjumpstart.sectorlink.org. describes itself as a “statewide, all volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the financial literacy of ALL Oregonians. Oregon Jump$tart is tied to the national Jump$tart Coalition which is focused on youth, but Oregon has expanded this focus to all Oregonians.  We are a coalition, comprised of individuals, non-profit organizations, governmental agencies and the corporate sector. The Coalition believes that financial literacy is a necessary life skill for all in order to be successful in life.”

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/oregon-takes-lead-in-personal-finance-education-2011-6#ixzz1OHkMS4ZX

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Posted June 4, 2011 by ilanamelissagreene in Uncategorized

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