New Report Shows Massachusetts Falls Behind in Financial Literacy

Report highlights urgency of improving financial literacy education for Commonwealth students

BOSTON, April 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A new report released today by FitMoney shows the very real consequences that accompany low levels of financial literacy in the Commonwealth in times of rising inflation and an increasingly complex financial environment.

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The Massachusetts Financial Literacy Fitness Report also shows that the state does not ensure that all students have access to an education that would give them the essential financial knowledge they will need to succeed in life. According to the report, Massachusetts lags behind a growing number of states taking steps to improve and expand financial education for their youth.

The FitMoney report also revealed:

  • More than half of American families cannot cover a $1,000 emergency expenses with savings.

  • Average consumer debt in Massachusetts is the highest among the New England states – $115,671.

  • Less than 5% of students in Massachusetts are guaranteed to take a course in personal finance.

  • Barely 1/4 of the school districts in Massachusetts say they teach financial literacy in middle school/elementary, but experts say kids’ financial habits are formed as early as 7 years old.

FitMoney sent a copy of the report to Governor Baker today, along with a letter urging him to shed light on the issue and support the financial education measures being considered by the legislature.

“Challenges for the youth of Massachusetts are high and our state is frankly falling behind; it’s time to act,” said the executive director of FitMoney, Jessica Peltier. “While we are grateful for Governor Baker’s leadership on this issue, we urge him and lawmakers to beacon hill making financial literacy education not just an option, but a priority for all Commonwealth children. »

Currently, five financial literacy bills are under consideration, as well as a $250,000 funding measure in the 2023 draft budget. Although financial literacy has been included in academic standards since a 2019 bill came into effect, Massachusetts does not require schools to teach a required course or even to offer an optional course. Twenty-four other states do.

Review report here.

read the letter here.

About FitMoney
FitMoney is a Newton-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving financial literacy in Massachusetts and across the country. FitMoney offers free, unbiased financial literacy programs to help K-12 students develop life skills for a financially healthy future.

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SOURCEFitMoney

Sarah J. Greer