A group of educators and representatives from Iowa banks and credit unions is recommending a series of steps to boost what K-12 students in Iowa schools are taught about managing money. Iowa Department of Education director Brad Buck convened the 13-member “work team” in January.
“We must do more to help our students understand the power of financial literacy,” Buck said this morning during the governor’s weekly news conference.
Buck, who is 45 years old, said he’s a case study in how little has been taught in Iowa schools on the subject.
“I had taken (advanced placement) courses in high school. I was on track to go to college and I did earn a college degree and still on my first day of teaching when I went to the school’s business office and was instructed to fill out forms about things like my tax-sheltered annuity, I drew a blank,” Buck said. “I went home and called my parents. There I was, a college-educated rookie teacher and I didn’t know the basics about saving money.”
Buck said Iowa schools must do more to ensure “age appropriate” information about financial literacy is included in teaching at all grade levels. Buck has put a person in the Iowa Department of Education in charge of the push to get financial literacy information into Iowa classrooms and his agency is creating a new website with information for teachers.
The financial literacy “work team” has issued a final report which can be found here.