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Schools want to offer financial ed but need your help!


While close to half (44%) of Wisconsin school districts require a course in personal financial literacy in order to graduate, a majority (57%) of high school seniors fall outside those districts. But with close to a third (27%) of the districts without a requirement looking to add a money management course soon, there's ripe opportunity for credit unions to help make it happen. A recent study by the Governor's Council on Financical Literacy reveals much more.

The study, conducted by St. Norbert College's Strategic Research Institute in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions & Department of Public Instruction, surveyed 97% of Wisconsin's 424 school districts to get a read on public schools' progress in integrating personal finance into their curricula. The study's executive summary also noted that:



  • 60% of school districts offer personal finance lessons at grade levels other than high school



"Therein lies opportunity for credit unions," said League VP of Development Chad Helminak. "Schools clearly recognize the value of teaching students money management and could benefit tremendously from working with experienced credit union professionals to help deliver lessons and provide content for classrooms."


Thanks to credit unions' generous support of the Wisconsin Credit Union Foundation, 382 teachers at 309 public high schools are already receiving free financial education resources that support state standards: the brass|STUDENT PROGRAM, with its lifestyle money magazine and supporting materials for students and teachers. These include videos, lesson plans, worksheets and student "cheat sheets" that help simplify complex topics. Any public high school that wants it can take advantage of brass.


Credit unions that request a log-in to the brass program support site can find out whether their schools are already using brass and access materials to help them introduce and share it locally. New sponsorship options this year help credit unions customize their support of the brass program. Our FAQ explains more.


"By working together, we can continue to grow the percentage of Wisconsin schools that are requiring financial education by ensuring they have the tools and support to do so," Helminak said. "This kind of community leadership raises awareness of credit unions, a key step in our Unite for Good growth strategy."


Read the full survey results and look to see whather your local district has a financial education requirement and how personal finance is integrated into its curriculum. All of the study findings are archived on the website for the Wisconsin Council on Financial Literacy.


RSVP to Teresa Walker if you'd like to attend  a meeting of the Council in November that will explain more.


Questions? Contact Chad Helminak at (608) 514-0080.



The Unite for Good effort is an internal growth strategy developed by CUNA in conjunction with its Board, state leagues, credit unions and system partners. The plan's action steps – to remove barriers, increase awareness and foster service excellence–are aimed at helping more credit unions become their members' primary financial institution by compelling members to see credit unions as their best financial partner. Read more articles in our Unite for Good series.