MADISON, Wis. (9/26/13)--Roughly 44% of all Wisconsin school districts now require a course in personal financial literacy (PFL) in order to graduate from high school, according to the survey results released Tuesday by the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI).
Credit unions in the state will be glad to see a healthy percentage of schools with a financial literacy requirement, and will stand ready to help grow that number by assisting educators in addressing the financial literacy issue, said the Wisconsin Credit Union League in response to the survey results.
Credit union financial educators reached 400,097 students nationally in 12,243 classroom presentations involving financial literacy during the 2012 school year, according to data from the National Youth Involvement Board.
The survey of Wisconsin school districts also showed that of those school districts that do not require a personal financial literacy course, 27% are considering adding such a requirement in the near future.
"The need to be financially literate has never been more important," Gov. Scott Walker said. "While more than 40% of our school districts are requiring their students to take a PFL course in order to graduate, there is more we can do to teach all Wisconsin young people this important life skill." He encouraged educators across the state "to do their part to continue to integrate personal financial literacy instruction into our schools."
The survey was initiated and funded by DFI, in collaboration with the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), and conducted by St. Norbert College Strategic Research Institute of De Pere. DFI, which is the regulator of state-chartered credit unions in the state, is charged with providing administrative support and guidance to the Governor's Council on Financial Literacy, which was created by the governor's Executive Order #24.
"DFI is committed to assisting the Governor's Council fulfill its mission of measurably improving the financial knowledge of Wisconsin's citizens, especially our K-12 students," DFI Secretary Peter Bildsten said. "This survey provides a benchmark by which the DFI, DPI and the council will be able to measure the results of our efforts to promote the integration of personal finance into our schools. We intend to 'move the dial' on this important topic."
The survey, which included responses from 415 of Wisconsin's 424 school districts, showed:
"Wisconsin led the nation in the development of rigorous standards around personal financial literacy," said State Superintendent Tony Evers. "It is important that school boards and district leaders continue to expand and enhance opportunities for students to meet these standards, whether it is through a required course, robust elective options, and/or integrating this content in grade levels as young as kindergarten."
For more detail about the report, use the link. See related story, Fin. Lit. Is Fundamental, Cordray Says in today's News Now.
Seventy-four percent of districts include PFL content integrated within courses other than a discrete PFL course;
Sixty percent of school districts report offering PFL content at grade levels other than high school; and
In districts with a required course, 89% have aligned their PFL course to Wisconsin's Model Academic Standards for Personal Financial Literacy.