Note: Be sure to check out our overview of the national financial literacy and education standards, too!
Wisconsin: Come on down!
Wisconsin does not have a mandated financial literacy or personal finance education component — although one is present in many schools around that state, including Milwaukee Public Schools. There is a state law on the books, though, that requires school districts to “adopt academic standards for financial literacy and incorporate instruction into the curriculum in grades kindergarten through 12.”
That law lays out requirements in six specific areas of financial education. Here’s a rundown.
Wisconsin financial literacy standards
According to Wisconsin state resources, “The Wisconsin Standards for Personal Financial Literacy are divided into six strands.” Those are:
● Financial Mindset
● Education and Employment
● Money Management
● Saving and Investing
● Credit and Debt
● Risk Management and Insurance
As with most mandates and standards across the country, these six core topic areas are designed to focus on areas with practical applications for students. That is, it’s likely that each and every student attending school in Wisconsin is going to need to deal with credit or debt at some point in their lives — and obviously things like money management, or employment — so, the powers that be think it’s a good idea to teach them about those concepts.
Again, taking directly from the state’s resources, here’s a bit more about each “strand”:
Financial mindset is a combination of the values, emotions, attitudes, behaviors, and external influences that lead to mental habits for thinking about and responding to
any financial circumstances; the financial mindset offers the “why,” where the other strands outline the “how.” An individual’s financial mindset is usually influenced by previous financial experiences; however, self-awareness of influences can play a significant role in future decisions. The increasing scope of financial choices makes it essential that students know their resources, rights, and responsibilities as consumers. This includes an understanding of the role of contextual factors in decision making as well as the role of advertising, sales techniques, consumer laws, and consumer organizations. The ability to analyze opportunity costs, value, and benefits of products and services is an essential skill for consumers. The reality and potential for building an intentional financial mindset includes the need for a sense of
responsibility to the broader community.
Education and Employment
Education and employment is establishing short-range and long-range financial goals as an essential part of financial literacy. This process begins while a person is in school and continues throughout life. A clear understanding of the interconnectedness of educational attainment, career choice, entrepreneurial attitudes, and economic conditions will help to shape goals and increase the likelihood of reaching them.
Money management is the foundation of being financially responsible. Learning how to plan, develop, use, and maintain a personal budget is the first step in being able to make quality financial choices and decisions. Proactive money management skills, setting financial goals, and understanding effective cash flow strategies are the next steps that allow students to be responsible consumers. Financial institutions and service providers play a significant role in supporting our lifelong learning about money management.
Saving and Investing
Saving and investing is the relationship among financial institutions, investment options, avenues for financial research, the economic history, performance of investments, and the appropriate application of basic economic principles. Using information from these and other sources will lead to wiser financial planning decisions for individuals and families.
Credit and Debt
Credit and debt is the role and responsibility regarding how people incur debt and seek credit for major purchases such as a home, car, education, and business. The ability to choose the most advantageous sources and forms for financing has long-term benefits. It is essential to make informed decisions when incurring debt, understand the true costs of credit, and develop skills for managing existing debt.
Risk Management and Insurance
Risk management and insurance is how people address unexpected financial losses or needs, which can affect the financial status of an individual or family for years. In addition to avoiding unreasonable risks in saving and investing, contemporary economics also requires that insurance, including life, property, health, liability, and disability be part of financial planning for individuals and families.
Again, Money Vehicle conforms to standards across the country — including Wisconsin’s! Reach out to learn more.
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And check out our white paper: “Strategies for Increasing Financial Literacy Rates Among High School and College Students”
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