Thought Leadership Thursday
Starting Young with Financial Wellness
Thought Leadership Thursday Article
In recognition of Financial Literacy month, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share the progress we’re experiencing in Alabama.
In 2013, I was pleased to be involved with, and supportive of, the Alabama State Department of Education’s implementation of a financial literacy curriculum that was embedded in its Career Preparedness course for 9th-12th grade students. This was the first time for Alabama’s schools to include such a curriculum. While that was a good foundation to begin addressing the financial literacy needs of Alabama, it was implemented as an elective and not required through legislative mandate.
Last year, our office was tasked with providing a recommendation to legislative leadership of an action plan promoting financial literacy to benefit Alabamians prior to the start of the 2023 Regular Session.
In my career of nearly five decades in banking, finance, and investments, I have seen many forms of financial education from many respected institutions such as the Federal Reserve Bank, the FDIC, banks, governmental agencies and non-profits. We spent time reviewing what all of those traditional institutions are doing. And while they all do a good job for their communities and constituencies, we still believe the most efficient and consistent delivery channel continues to be K-12 schools. So, our suggested action plan would be to add several accountability measures to the foundation laid many years ago.
I am pleased to report that a bill was introduced on March 21st that included our recommendations to require students to complete a personal financial literacy and money management course before graduation; to provide for the creation and administration of a financial literacy examination; and to require the reporting of examination results to the State Department of Education.
I expect I will be able to report back to you by mid-June that Alabama has met the task!
Alabama State Treasurer