Every Rhode Islander deserves the opportunity to achieve financial security, and the road to long-term economic success begins with providing students with training in financial literacy. That’s why we’re thrilled with the recent passage of our legislation to ensure every high school student in Rhode Island has the knowledge they need to face big financial decisions in a thoughtful and confident manner.
In each of our individual lives, we have seen the tremendous impact personal finance education can have on young people. When he began his career as a teacher in a public school, Treasurer Seth Magaziner taught financial literacy to students to ensure they formed strong instincts for budgeting and saving at a young age. . As an immigrant, Senator Sandra Cano used her financial literacy skills to pursue a career in financial services, empowering those with similar experiences. Preparing young people for the world has long been an issue of importance to Representative Mia Ackerman, who served as a mentor to the Cumberland Youth Committee and created a Youth Advisory Board to improve student engagement.
The point is, too many young people are not receiving personal finance education in school. Today, Rhode Island has become the thirty-eighth state to provide access to personal finance education. The need is obvious, overwhelming and growing.
The average Rhode Island borrower has over $ 36,000 in student loans, $ 16,000 in credit card debt, and doesn’t have six months of savings to cover expenses in the event of a job loss. This hinders the state’s economic growth and financial security, often preventing Rhode Islanders from buying homes or building retirement plans. This leads to overuse of high rate credit cards and payday loans which further trap individuals in a cycle of debt.
In 2018, the Office of the General Treasurer released “Fallen Behind,” a report that shows people who have taken a personal finance course are more likely to have higher credit scores and default rates. weaker ; better manage personal debts; and achieve higher levels of personal savings as a proportion of income. Providing students with the knowledge and skills they need to successfully navigate complex financial decisions is not only the path to personal financial empowerment, but also helps ensure that the workforce is equipped to succeed in a competitive economy.
This new law will help help the state’s youth learn the fundamentals of saving and investing, so we can send them out into the real world with the tools to navigate a complex financial landscape.
Rhode Island is building a brighter future that invests in local talent, brings growing cutting-edge economies, and enables its employees to achieve financial security and prosper for the long haul. We thank our community partners who have stood by our side in the fight for Rhode Island students, as we put them on the path to long-term financial success.
Seth Magaziner, Treasurer General of Rhode Island
Senator Sandra Cano, Chair of the Senate Education Committee
District 8 – Pawtucket
Representative Mia Ackerman, Deputy House Whip
District 45 – Cumberland, Lincoln