Financial education for K-12 students a growing concern, PwC report finds

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On Monday, PwC released Bridging the Financial Literacy Gap: Empowering teachers to support the next generationa new report focused on the current state of financial education across the nation's schools.

As financial literacy amongst young people continues to be an ongoing concern in the U.S., many educators are trying to find ways of teaching students economic fundamentals early on. PwC's report paints a statistical picture of financial educators and the resources available to them.

"Our nation's teachers are critical to help curb the gap in financial education," the report states. "While the responsibility of financial education has traditionally been left to parents, K-12 educators increasingly view it as a shared responsibility that schools can and should take on, starting in the early grades. Educators see the value of teaching students to budget, prepare for the future, and become better financial decision makers. But, educators need more support to adequately teach these skills."

Some highlights of the report include:

  • Few teachers are including financial education in their classrooms - While 92% of K-12 educators believe financial education should be taught in schools, only 12% do so.
  • 65% of teachers believe it’s unlikely their students are receiving any financial education at home.
  • 62% of teachers surveyed said financial education isn’t seen as a critical skill for college and career readiness.
  • Only 31% of teachers feel "completely comfortable" teaching financial literacy; 51% feel "moderately comfortable" and 18% feel "not comfortable at all."

"In order to bridge the gap between educators’ support for financial education and the current lack of resources, we must advocate for systemic support of financial education, such as opportunities to teach business and economics at all levels, starting in elementary school," the study concludes. "We must also work to connect teachers with high quality financial education materials that align with proven standards. Finally, we need to expand professional development and training for financial education so that teachers feel as comfortable teaching personal finance as they do reading, writing, or math."
To download the full report, head to PwC's site here.

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