RI gets F in financial literacy national survey

Jul 24, 2013

Publicizing ways of making Rhode Islanders more financially literate has been a priority of State General Treasurer Gina Raimondo since she took office in 2011. But a national study by the Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College in Vermont, which assigned grades to states according to the quality of their financial literacy programs has rated Rhode Island one of 11 states that was given an `F’ grade in financial literacy.

Just 7 states rated a grade of A or B and 22 states received D or F grades. One of the reasons that the Ocean State finished so low is that the state has ``few requirements or none at all'' for teaching personal finance education in state high schools.

Joy Fox, spokeswoman for Raimondo, responded. ``The report should serve as a real wake up call, especially for school-based financial literacy programs and is why the treasury is committed to increased financial education in the classroom,'' said Fox.

Fox also said that Raimondo, in partnership with local credit unions, has launched EverFi, an online financial literacy program, that is available to all high schools in the state.

``While this is a step in the right direction, moire must be done,'' said Fox. ``Our economy is in rough shape, financial products are complex and far too often predatory and technology makes spending just a click away.''

Maybe it is time for some enterprising state lawmaker to introduce legislation top bring a financial literacy curriculum to Rhode ISland high schools.