PricewaterhouseCoopers, a leader in the finance industry, recently released a report on the current state of financial education in grades K-12. The report, titled Bridging the Financial Literacy Gap: Empowering teachers to support the next generation, centered around the finding that financial education is largely lacking in today's schooling. Only 12 percent of teachers said that financial education is currently a part of their curriculum, even though the vast majority - 92 percent - agreed that it was needed.
The report showed that new teachers entering the education field believe that financial education is important and should be a part of the curriculum starting in the elementary grades. Seventy-eight percent of teachers in the survey said they need more appropriate curriculum to be able to instruct students in financial matters, and they also requested supplementary materials and professional development opportunities.
Students may not be getting financial education outside of school either. Sixty-two percent of the teachers surveyed reported it was "not likely" that students were receiving instruction on things like budgeting and how to handle debt at home.
This lack of financial education early on can result in long-term problems for many young people as they enter the adult world, which includes things like credit cards and trying to save for a down payment on a house. The older people are before they start financial education, the harder it may be to change patterns like living paycheck to paycheck without a budget or savings plan. Eventually, poor financial decisions can lead to even worse situations, such as having to file for bankruptcy or facing foreclosure.
It's clear from this report that financial education needs to be made a higher priority in K-12 grades and that teachers are willing to take on the task with the proper support.