NH Jump$tart Coalition Announces Progress in Financial Literacy Education in New Hampshire High Schools Since 2013; More Progress to be Made
68% of NH public high schools offer personal finance courses; 12% require students to pass a standalone course in personal finance to graduate
By: NH JumpStart Coalition
HILLSBORO, N.H. - Jan. 14, 2020 - PRLog -- The NH Jump$tart Coalition announced New Hampshire high schools are making positive strides toward providing more opportunities for students to learn and understand personal finance. The NH Jump$tart Coalition, an all-volunteer non-profit organization that strives to prepare youth for life-long, successful financial decision making, recently completed a study of personal finance curriculum and graduation requirements of all 78 public high schools in New Hampshire. While the study reveals progress, many schools still do not require students to pass a class in personal finance to graduate.
The mission of the NH Jump$tart Coalition is to improve the financial literacy of pre-kindergarten through college-age youth by providing advocacy, research, activities, standards and educational resources. The organization conducted its first study of New Hampshire public high school curriculum in 2013; updated in 2017 and this recent study was completed in late 2019. Click here to read the study.
The organization evaluated the economics curricula and graduation requirements to determine how schools measure up to the New Hampshire Curriculum Frameworks Standard SS:EC:6, which specifies that [in order to graduate high school] students must be able to explain the importance of money management, spending, credit, saving and investing in a free-market economy.
"We are encouraged by the progress being made in our schools, and we believe New Hampshire can take a leadership role in educating students on managing money," said Dan Hebert, president, NH Jump$tart Coalition. "We have students who want to learn, educators prepared to teach them, and resources available, but it starts at home. We urge parents to take an interest in modeling and teaching financial responsibility at home and advocating for financial education in their school districts."
NH Jump$tart has embraced the Check Your School national public-engagement campaign. Check Your School is designed to support the goal of Jump$tart's Project Groundswell which is to increase and improve effective financial education in our nation's classrooms. Through the Check Your School campaign, the hope is to harness the "power of parents" to start the conversation about the importance of financial literacy and the need for financial education at their own kids' schools. Grandparents, guardians, aunts, uncles, neighbors, friends, and even students themselves have a role to play and are encouraged to connect with school administrators through its website.
Key findings from the 2019 study include:
-68% of New Hampshire public high schools clearly offer a personal finance course as an elective, in addition to meeting the state requirement for economics;
-12% of New Hampshire public high schools clearly require a standalone course in personal finance for graduation.
-8% of New Hampshire public highs schools clearly require economics only;
In 2013, only three public high schools in New Hampshire met the state minimum requirement in economics and required students to pass a half-credit class in personal finance to graduate. The 2019 study revealed an improvement with ten public high schools now requiring students to pass a separate course in personal finance to graduate. They are:
Bedford High School
Bow High School
Hinsdale High School
John Stark Regional High School
Lin-Wood High School
Newfound Regional High School
Pelham High School
Profile High School
Woodsville High School
"The NH Jump$tart Coalition's third assessment of personal finance curriculum in the state's schools shows that gradual progress is being made in requiring and/or expanding these offerings for high school students," said Bill Dwyer, treasurer, State of New Hampshire. "As with any other worthy initiative, awareness is key. I encourage all stakeholders---
"Gaining financial literacy is a crucial part of every student's work toward a rewarding and satisfying life," said Gerald H. Little, bank commissioner, New Hampshire Banking Department. "Regardless of what career path they chose after graduation, the fruits of their labors will be lost if they don't learn the importance of saving and how to use credit wisely. New Hampshire schools have made good progress in recent years with efforts to introduce the important topic of personal finance. But we need to do more. The chances of that happening will improve greatly if parents and students ask teachers and school boards to weave an aspect of financial literacy into study plans whenever and wherever possible. We need to make personal finance more than a class. It should become a thread that runs through every subject taught to every student."
For more information about the NH Jump$tart Coalition and to access the full 2019 Report on New Hampshire Public High Schools, visit www.nhjumpstart.org.
About NH Jump$tart Coalition:
Celebrating 20 years, NH Jump$tart is a statewide, all volunteer, nonprofit association dedicated to improving the personal financial literacy of children in the Granite State. We are also a proud state affiliate of the National Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. The National Jump$tart Coalition, based in Washington, D.C., was first convened in 1995 and consists of over 200 organizations committed to improving the financial literacy of America's youth.
Dan Hebert, State President