December 12, 2017

Report: CT high schools failing financial ABCs

Connecticut is among 11 states with the worst financial literacy in its public high schools, according to a new report.

Vermont-based Champlain College's Center for Financial Literacy produced the 2017 report card, giving Connecticut an "F." The center says it relies on national data to grade all 50 states and the District of Columbia on their efforts to produce financially literate high school graduates.

"What the grading shows is that we have a long way to go before we are a financially literate nation," said John Pelletier, the center's director.

American high schools have improved incrementally, in part because previous report cards have energized debates and legislation in many states, Pelletier said.

"We know that financial illiteracy was one of the causes of the Great Recession," he said. "Clearly, personal finance should be right up there with reading, writing and arithmetic as a critical subject."

But only five states earned an "A": Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia and Utah.

Fifteen states earned a "D" or "F," but all failing grades are not equal, the center says. In fact, it said Connecticut stands out, along with California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and

Wisconsin for having created programs that promote financial literacy education. However, these states still fail since their students seldom receive exposure to the subject, the report states.

One Connecticut improvement includes a 2015 state law that requires the state Board of Education to offer financial-literacy curricula to local and regional school districts.

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