Why children must learn financial literacy

Twenty states across the country have bills mandating that financial literacy be taught as a separate course in primary schools. And experts say it’s about time.

Harold Abraham, an elementary school principal and adjunct professor at Montclair State University, says that financial literacy is so important that it should be a regular part of every level of schooling.

“It’s critical as educators that we teach students how to save, earn, borrow, invest, and protect their money intelligently. This will ensure that whatever their path looks like, they will make healthy financial decisions along the way,” says Abraham.


Educators discuss what’s covered in a financial literacy curriculum and why it’s so important for kids to learn about money management and more.

With a focus on becoming a smart consumer, financial literacy courses teach kids how to build wealth and manage their finances. For example, students may learn how to create a budget and invest for retirement — skills that typically aren’t taught in a high school economics class.

But when it comes to financial literacy, every student’s journey will look different.

“It’s critical as educators that we teach students how to save, earn, borrow, invest, and protect their money intelligently. This will ensure that whatever their path looks like, they will make healthy financial decisions along the way,” says Abraham, emphasizing that financial literacy must be infused into the curriculum at every grade level.

Alicia Torres, program director of Learn and Earn, an afterschool program for youth in grades 11-12 provided by the nonprofit group RiseBoro Community Partnership, says that many of the youth she works with lack the basic fundamentals of financial literacy — things as simple as budgeting or even opening a bank account.

“We provide…

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