Financial Education

Thank you so much for visiting this site, and for your interest in financial education. I am currently working to pass major legislation that will ramp up financial and economic education efforts for students and adults. As part of that effort, I have worked to bring together resources and information on this page to help Washingtonians access financial education efforts locally, learn more about financial basics, and find out about the importance of bringing personal finance lessons into the classroom.

The Need

Unfortunately, one of the many reasons our country has fallen into the current economic recession is that too many Americans made uninformed and risky financial decisions. In order to avoid another devastating economic crisis, we are going to have to work to ensure that more Americans have the skills they need to make financially sound decisions.

My Bill

My bi-partisan bill, The Financial and Economic Literacy Improvement Act of 2009, will provide $250 million in grants annually to states to support teaching financial literacy in grades K-12 and at 2-and 4-year colleges.

Bill Summary Video


Did You Know?

  • One-third of college students have four credit cards when they graduate.
  • More than half of graduates have piled up $5,000 each in high-interest debt.
  • The number of 18- to 24-year-olds who have declared bankruptcy has almost doubled in 10 years.
  • One in three adults have no savings, and among those between the ages of 18 and 34, almost half have no savings.
  • 28% of Americans in a recent said their mortgage terms turned out to be different than they expected.
  • One in three Americans don't put any of their income towards retirement.
  • 57 percent of Americans do not have a budget.
  • One in four adults do not pay all their bills on time.
  • Even though it's free, two-thirds of adults have not ordered a copy of their credit report in the last year.

Sources: Harris Poll 2009 Financial Literacy Poll  |  McClatchy Newspapers 3/15/09


Where You Can Get Financial Literacy Skills Today


Financial Literacy Leaders Speak on the Need for Murray's Bill

 Pam Whalley, Director of the Center for Economic Education,Financial Ed - PM and Pam Whalley Western Washington University:  “If not now, when?  When will we provide our children with the tools they need to take control of their financial lives?  The need could not be more apparent.  When all is said and done, financial illiteracy is one of the root causes of our current financial crisis, yet financial education has been disappearing from our schools.  Senator Murray’s bill will help us begin constructing a firm foundation of financial knowledge in elementary school, building on this foundation as our children mature, so that by the time they graduate, they will have the skills they need to take control of their financial lives.”


Don Ide, Financial Education Teacher at Lynwood High School:  “Even Talking to Students About Financial Literacy in Lynnwoodwith our current economic situation, our economic system is the envy of the entire world. Credit is one of the most wonderful tools we have in our economy.  All citizens need to learn how to use credit wisely.  Wise use of credit will help you countless times in the future and enhance your life.  Foolish use of credit can ruin your life and make you miserable.

“It is exciting to see the Federal Government initiate legislation to improve the financial literacy for all Americans. We take so much of our economic system for granted, but without proper instruction, our economic system is no better than our least knowledgeable citizen.  We need to teach our youth how to thrive in our economic system through financial literacy.”