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Harvey/Collins: Can Milwaukee teach financial literacy to every child?

“The stakes are really high.”

In this special report the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel explores a growing movement to teach financial literacy to every child in Milwaukee.  Nearly one in five 15-year-olds in the U.S. struggles with basic financial concepts, such as simple budgeting and comparison shopping.

Financial and investment firms regularly release surveys showing most parents feel uncomfortable talking about money.

“Much of that is because they themselves don’t necessarily feel like they are experts in money management,” said Melody Harvey, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies how public policies affect financial capability. ”

Nearly a decade earlier professor J. Michael Collins, was part of the team that examined outcomes in Texas and Georgia after those states implemented a financial education requirement.

They looked at students’ credit reports through age 22 and found students were less likely to have a negative item on their credit report. They also borrowed more — showing they could better fill out applications for things like credit cards or a car loan — and had a lower delinquency rate on those loans than their peers in states without the graduation requirement.

“We saw that those kids who had the financial education had basically fewer mistakes in their early 20s,” noted Collins.

Read the full article at: https://www.jsonline.com/in-depth/news/local/milwaukee/2021/11/11/financial-literacy-how-milwaukee-kids-learning-manage-money-school-running-rebels-personal-finance/6201481001/