April 12, 2016
Jackson, MS. Treasurer Lynn Fitch, Selene Swartzfager, President of the Mississippi Council on Economic Education (MCEE), and staff and members of the MCEE Board of Directors joined Governor Phil Bryant today as he signed the proclamation naming April 2016 Financial Literacy Month.
I want to thank the Governor for recognizing the importance of financial education by signing this proclamation,” said Treasurer Lynn Fitch, who has made financial literacy for all Mississippi students a cornerstone of her agenda as Treasurer. “Mississippi ranks dead last in our financial habits and number one in poverty. And, that is no coincidence. If we want to show we are serious about breaking the cycle of poverty in Mississippi, we need to teach Mississippians the language of money. Really, every day needs to be financial literacy day.”
“MCEE is a statewide organization with limited resources, but big impact across Mississippi,” said Selena Swartzfager, President of MCEE. “By partnering with Treasurer Fitch’s TEAM initiative, as well as schools and businesses, we’re able to spread our limited resources. When we train teachers in personal finance, economics, and entrepreneurship, we give them the tools to teach their students these crucial life skills. And, when our children are prepared for a more prosperous future, all of Mississippi thrives.”
Since taking office in 2012, Treasurer Fitch has been working with the Legislature to make financial education a required part of the high school curriculum. While the House has passed that legislation three times, the Senate has yet to consider it.
In the meantime, the Treasurer has established the Treasurer’s Education About Money (TEAM) initiative, a public-private partnership that has brought financial education resources to over 230 schools across Mississippi. As a TEAM partner, MCEE has helped train more than 555 teachers in personal finance. In its first year, TEAM reached more than 19,000 high school and middle school students.
For more information on TEAM, visit www.treasurerlynnfitch.com. For more information about MCEE, visit www.mscee.org. The text of the Financial Literacy Month proclamation is attached, as well as a photo from the signing and statistics on financial literacy in Mississippi.