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Financial literacy: SEPs, bucks, buying low

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Becoming financially literate at a young age pays off. Parents should teach their children about money matters in the course of normal daily activities, and young adults should attain financial literacy by the time they go off to college and enter the workforce. In this interview, Leslie Slaughter, state supervisor of Family & Consumer Sciences at the Kentucky Department of Education, discusses practical ways to be in the know when it comes to money management.

How important is it to educate students about money management?

Knowing about money management is essential. Kids, teens and adults need to master sound financial practices. Being financially literate will impact a student’s successful transition to post-secondary education and the workforce, and it will have a long-term positive influence in their everyday adult lives.

At what age should schools start teaching basic personal finance?

Concepts of basic money management should begin in the early elementary years. The years following should emphasize more progressive and detailed concepts of financial literacy, such as credit card use, stocks and bonds, types of loans and insurance policies, investment opportunities, etc.

Do you believe parents should teach their kids about finances?

Parents play a crucial role in applying and enriching these skills and concepts through real-world experiences with their children. What is taught in the classroom will be profoundly more effective when students are given the opportunity to experience and explore daily financial decision-making.

How does your organization help children and teens in Kentucky become financially literate?

The Kentucky Department of Education offers several career and technical education courses on financial literacy and consumer economics. As partners, we collaborate to promote resources available to teachers such as the Kentucky Jump$tart Coalition and the Kentucky Council on Economic Education. Our newly designed instructional improvement system, Continuous Improvement Instructional Technology System, or CIITS, also includes valuable state and national curriculum resources about teaching financial literacy.

Kentucky’s new accountability model includes program reviews for nonassessed areas, such as Practical Living and Career Studies. The Practical Living and Career Studies program review rubric defines expectations for what Kentucky schools should be addressing in their consumerism and financial literacy efforts.

Special thanks to Leslie Slaughter, state supervisor of Family & Consumer Sciences at the Kentucky Department of Education, for joining us in this interview.