Education Secretary Miguel Cardona says personal finance lessons should start as early as possible – CNBC

There’s a growing push for students to get personal financial education in high school.

But, according to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, that might not be early enough.

“When I talk to students now, they talk about the need for financial literacy learning in a practical sense — how to look at debt and how to plan for a financially secure future,” Cardona told CNBC’s Sharon Epperson in an interview.

While states and local boards — and not the federal Education Department — control curriculums, the group is still trying to promote financial literacy instruction at an early level, Cardona said.

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“We can’t wait for a personal finance course in high school,” he said. “We need to infuse it more naturally so that by the time they get to high school there’s a better understanding of it.”

Currently, a personal finance education course is a high school requirement in 21 states, according to data from Next Gen Personal Finance. In 24 states, high schools must offer personal finance education, but it’s not a requirement for students to take it.

Bridge gaps

At this point in the coronavirus pandemic, schools have an opportunity to rethink how they’re approaching teaching students as they welcome them back to classrooms in person, according to Cardona.

“I can’t think of a better time than now where we are as close to the reset button in education as we’ve ever been,” Cardona said, adding that there is also an opportunity to address gaps in achievement often seen among students of color, many of whom come from families hit hardest by the pandemic.

“I expect that as we reopen schools, we are aggressively addressing whatever instructional loss and time our students have had,” Cardona said. This includes providing adequate support for students and families, as well as rethinking curriculum.

What we’re doing is looking for state level policies that do promote financial literacy at an earlier age and lifting those up.

Miguel Cardona

U.S. Secretary of Education

Weaving better personal finance education into classrooms as soon as possible makes a lot of sense as the U.S. …….


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