The state superintendent's office says the new financial-education standards are the first to ever be adopted here.
Wages. Insurance premiums. Roth IRAs.
Financial education hasn’t always been a priority in Washington schools. But under new standards adopted this year, students will learn about financial subjects like spending and saving — and why they’ll need to know about wages, insurance premiums and Roth IRAs when they’re adults.
The standards are the first of their kind in Washington, according to the state superintendent’s office. Superintendent Randy Dorn presided over a ceremonial adoption last week.
Dorn noted that if more people understood what banks were doing with home loans, the financial crisis may not have hit the country as hard as it did in 2008 and 2009.
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“Students need to understand financial terms,” he said. “They need to know what interest is, how to calculate taxes, when to begin investing. Giving them those tools may help us avert the next financial crisis.”
Along with spending and saving, the standards cover five other topics: credit and debt, employment and income, investing, risk management and insurance, and financial decision-making.
The standards will be integrated into classroom activities, likely in math or social studies classes, said Nate Olson, spokesman for the state superintendent’s office. In the second grade, for example, students will compare different types of savings methods, like piggy banks or banks, based on risk of loss. By the 12th grade, students will develop a personal financial plan or budget with goals, net worth statement and estate plan.
A planning group is still figuring out how schools will put the new financial standards into practice, Olson said.
In 2004, the Legislature established the Financial Literacy Public-Private Partnership, which was recommissioned as the Financial Education Public-Private Partnership five years later. A bill in the 2015 Legislature directed the partnership to write the new financial standards, which are based on national standards from the Jump$tart Coalition and the Council for Economic Education.