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ECONOMICS REPORT - The Value of Teaching About Money

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This is the VOA Special English Economics Report.

Personal finance is an increasingly complex world. There are more ways to invest money, more ways to save it -- and more ways to lose it. Yet many people are more strangers to this world than they might like to admit.

Starting young to teach financial literacy
Starting young to teach financial literacy

In the United States, there are growing calls to do more to help young people learn skills in financial literacy. Some efforts begin in high school. But more and more information is available on the Internet, not only for young people but also for adults. The goal is to teach about budgeting, saving, investing and using money.

The United States Financial Literacy and Education Commission was established in two thousand three. This government group supervises financial education efforts through nineteen federal agencies.

Information on financial literacy and education can be found at its Web site. The address is MyMoney.gov. It includes links to agencies that deal with banking, buying a home, investing and other areas.

The National Council on Economic Education has found that seventeen states now require high school students to take a class in economics. This number has grown from thirteen in nineteen ninety-eight.

As of three years ago, half of all states required students to take a class in personal finance. Yet that number has fallen, from twenty-five to twenty-two.

The National Council on Economic Education sells textbooks for grades four through twelve. It also offers free materials for teachers. The information is available at ncee.net.

Teachers say parents also need to play a larger part in educating their children about money. A recent study found that seventy percent of college students said they received financial advice mainly from their parents.

Investment companies also offer information. Charles Schwab, for example, has a Web site to help parents teach their kids about money and investing. The address is SchwabMoneyWise.com.

One of the first tastes of financial independence that many young people get is through summer jobs. Junior Achievement is an organization that teaches young people about finance and business. It says almost three-fourths of young people questioned said they planned to have a summer job.

And that's the VOA Special English Economics Report, written by Mario Ritter. You can learn more about economics, and download transcripts and audio archives of our reports, at www.unsv.com. I'm Steve Ember.

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