ACEC Urges Support for Legislation Teaching Young Adults Money Skills

Apr 03, 2001, 01:00 ET from Americans for Consumer Education and Competition

    RESTON, Va., April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Those with an interest in seeing
 financial literacy curricula taught in the nation's schools must act "quickly
 and collectively" if legislation funding personal money management courses is
 to become a reality this year, the spokesperson for a national consumer
 education group said today.
     We must act quickly and collectively to assure that teaching personal
 money skills remains a priority for members of the 107th Congress, Susan
 Molinari, national chairperson of Americans for Consumer Education and
 Competition said. The most likely vehicle for such legislation is the
 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), Molinari told a meeting of the
 Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy here.
     Versions of ESEA, which funds such programs as head start and special
 education, are moving through both houses of Congress. The House version of
 this bill, Molinari said, was recently amended with key elements of the Youth
 Financial Education Act, H.R. 61, which would provide block grants for
 financial education courses to the states. Molinari urged supporters of
 financial literacy funding to move quickly to have similar language added to
 the Senate bill, as the best means of assuring the provisions survive the
 legislative process. A vote on ESEA, she noted, could occur in the Senate in
 just a few weeks.
     Neither version of ESEA contains a provision of the Youth Financial
 Education Act, which would create a national clearinghouse of financial
 education instructional materials and programs. Molinari said ACEC is pursuing
 monies for this program through the "normal authorization and appropriations
 process."
     Molinari said, "Together, groups like ACEC and Jump$tart are part of a
 growing financial literacy constituency that also includes such diverse groups
 as the financial services industry and the education community. This
 constituency is not only increasing awareness of the need for financial
 literacy instruction in the nation's classrooms, but is rapidly acquiring the
 critical political mass necessary to assure our kids are taught these
 essential money skills in school."
     There are a host of surveys that show that the nation's young people have
 not mastered personal financial skills as which loans carry the lowest
 interest rates and which saving instruments pay the highest rates, said the
 former Congresswoman from Staten Island and veteran of the House Budget and
 Education committees. Molinari pointed out that a failing 36.6 percent was the
 average score achieved by high school seniors taking a personal finance quiz
 contained in ACEC's just released America's Money Skills Report Card.
     The battery of questions examined students' knowledge of such financial
 information as interest rates, savings and retirement strategies, loans,
 credit cards and calculating net worth. Molinari said enacting provisions of
 the Youth Financial Education Act would "better prepare our children to pass
 all of life's financial tests." Representatives David Dreier (R-CA) and Earl
 Pomeroy (D-ND) introduced the legislation at the beginning of the 107th
 Congress.
 
 

SOURCE Americans for Consumer Education and Competition
    RESTON, Va., April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Those with an interest in seeing
 financial literacy curricula taught in the nation's schools must act "quickly
 and collectively" if legislation funding personal money management courses is
 to become a reality this year, the spokesperson for a national consumer
 education group said today.
     We must act quickly and collectively to assure that teaching personal
 money skills remains a priority for members of the 107th Congress, Susan
 Molinari, national chairperson of Americans for Consumer Education and
 Competition said. The most likely vehicle for such legislation is the
 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), Molinari told a meeting of the
 Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy here.
     Versions of ESEA, which funds such programs as head start and special
 education, are moving through both houses of Congress. The House version of
 this bill, Molinari said, was recently amended with key elements of the Youth
 Financial Education Act, H.R. 61, which would provide block grants for
 financial education courses to the states. Molinari urged supporters of
 financial literacy funding to move quickly to have similar language added to
 the Senate bill, as the best means of assuring the provisions survive the
 legislative process. A vote on ESEA, she noted, could occur in the Senate in
 just a few weeks.
     Neither version of ESEA contains a provision of the Youth Financial
 Education Act, which would create a national clearinghouse of financial
 education instructional materials and programs. Molinari said ACEC is pursuing
 monies for this program through the "normal authorization and appropriations
 process."
     Molinari said, "Together, groups like ACEC and Jump$tart are part of a
 growing financial literacy constituency that also includes such diverse groups
 as the financial services industry and the education community. This
 constituency is not only increasing awareness of the need for financial
 literacy instruction in the nation's classrooms, but is rapidly acquiring the
 critical political mass necessary to assure our kids are taught these
 essential money skills in school."
     There are a host of surveys that show that the nation's young people have
 not mastered personal financial skills as which loans carry the lowest
 interest rates and which saving instruments pay the highest rates, said the
 former Congresswoman from Staten Island and veteran of the House Budget and
 Education committees. Molinari pointed out that a failing 36.6 percent was the
 average score achieved by high school seniors taking a personal finance quiz
 contained in ACEC's just released America's Money Skills Report Card.
     The battery of questions examined students' knowledge of such financial
 information as interest rates, savings and retirement strategies, loans,
 credit cards and calculating net worth. Molinari said enacting provisions of
 the Youth Financial Education Act would "better prepare our children to pass
 all of life's financial tests." Representatives David Dreier (R-CA) and Earl
 Pomeroy (D-ND) introduced the legislation at the beginning of the 107th
 Congress.
 
 SOURCE  Americans for Consumer Education and Competition