There is one good thing that has come from the Great Recession, a renewed focus on the need for financial education programs.
Surprisingly to most, financial education programs have not been offered in the modern day school system. I may be dating myself but when I was in school, I took a Home Economic class that did cover budgeting and other financial topics intermixed with sewing and cooking.
I find it strange that the topic that everyone needs to understand the most is taught the least. Why aren’t financial education programs taught in school? I mistakenly assumed that since everyone knew the importance of having money management skills, that passing a financial education class had to be part of student’s graduation requirements.
So why aren’t ‘financial literacy programs’ required in schools? The fact is most teachers and schools DO what to teach money skills, but they do not have the time nor budget necessary to do so.
With the No Child Left Behind Act schools receive funding based on how well students do on standardized tests. Unfortunately, financial literacy is not a portion of that standardized testing. As a result, the majority of states do not require any financial education programs to be delivered to students at any point in their school life - even through their PhD.
Funding is another major obstacle facing educators who want a financial education program in school. Our schools in many areas are so poorly funded they cannot even provide students with their own books. Most people would agree with me – our education system needs additional funding. The investment we make now in our youth the stronger and better this country will be in the future.
I was happy to hear the NFEC had come up with a solution to the time and funding issues.
To address the time issue the NFEC designed curriculum
that can be integrated with and meet core subject standards – English, Math, Social Studies. This eliminates the time requirement associated with taking class time to deliver something that doesn’t fulfill required coursework.
They also offer a wide variety of classes and workshops that work as an after-school program or weekend crash courses. These types of events can really impact students while not distracting from instruction of the core subjects.
The NFEC also solved the funding issue for schools through grants, sponsorships and fundraisers. Besides consulting on these topics, the NFEC also provides financial literacy funding options
The NFEC also hosts a signature fundraiser that is similar to a jog-a-thon style of collecting money. Instead of having students collect money based on the miles they run, they earn money based on how many hours of volunteer work they complete. When students work for a financial education program, they value the experience more plus it allows them to build important life skills in the process.
The NFEC also bridges the gap between the education and corporate world.
Sponsorships can assist in offsetting costs and can even act as a school fundraiser. Of course, the NFEC only works with sponsors that have the highest ethics and that promote positive products or services.
In today’s world many people are experiencing financial hardships and retirement shortages. A big portion of this problem can be attributed to the fact they never had a financial education program and missed out on receiving money management education.
The recent recession took its toll on many people, and in doing so, has increased the attention on innovative financial education programs. There has also been an increase in the financial literacy funding available to organizations that are focused on providing people money skills.