Congressman André Carson (IN-7) has introduced H.R. 891, the Young Americans Financial Literacy Act - a bill that seeks to promote the development of effective financial literacy curricula and educational models for students ages 8-24.
According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, more than half of American adults rate themselves as either "fair" or "poor" in terms of financial literacy. Consequently, problems with personal finance and money management are passed on to children by parents who believe students are learning financial literacy in schools. In reality, only 30% of teachers are incorporating these lifelong skills into their curriculum.
As both credit card and student loan debt continue to skyrocket, the need to evaluate personal finances and improve financial literacy has become more apparent. Under the Young Americans Financial Literacy Act, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would provide grants to partnerships of universities, non-profits, school systems, and financial institutions in order to develop and implement improved financial literacy education programs.
"We are facing a serious deficit of financial literacy in this country," said Congressman Carson. "We need to take smart steps to ensure Americans are empowered with the skills necessary to secure their own economic stability -- and that starts with education programs that recognize the importance of responsible personal finance."
Reaching more young Americans is critical, especially as they begin earning their first paychecks through part-time jobs, considering college loans or buying their first car or apartment.
Congressman Carson went on to say, "We must do a better job of teaching money management skills to young people, from middle school to graduate school. If we can strengthen financial literacy education, and instill these important skills in our kids, we have an opportunity to spur our economic growth and ensure that more Americans have a shot at achieving their financial goals."