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Teaching Fiscal Literacy in SchoolSubmitted: 03/01/2019
Dan Hagen
Dan Hagen
Reporter/Anchor
dhagen@wjfw.com

Teaching Fiscal Literacy in School
NORTHWOODS - Most Wisconsinites wished they saved more. Part of the problem is a lack of education about personal finance. But some local high schools are hoping to change that for the next generation. 

Jake Richards teaches personal finance at Lakeland Union High School. He believes better technology has improved the curriculum, specifically the website "Next Gen Personal Finance". He loves it for its help inside and outside the classroom. Richards is hopeful new resources like Next Gen will help not just finance students, but also finance teachers.

"I think that as all the financial literacy teachers are able to build on each other [with Next Gen, financial literacy] will come to let's say a science or a math teacher," said Richards.

State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski said a reason for state financial literacy shortcomings is a lack of quality education in the past.


"One of the critical barriers for financial literacy in whether that elementary, middle, or high school is that teachers don't even feel comfortable teaching some of this stuff," said Godlewski.

Godlewski said a course for teaching teachers about personal finance could help. Northland Pines Principal Dan Marien would support Godlewski's course for teachers.

"If we do that through educating our staff members through professional development on financial literacy, I do believe that's going to have a positive impact on our students which is the ultimate reason why we're here," said Marien.

Lakeland teaches an eight-week course. At Northland Pines, the course is 18 weeks. Seven out of every ten school districts in Wisconsin require a personal finance class. That's up from 44 percent in 2013.


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