News Releases

Economy: Senator Murray Acts to Improve Financial Literacy Programs in America's Schools and Colleges

Feb 27 2008

As economy struggles in the wake of subprime crisis, Murray's bill will invest $250 million to give teens and adults the tools they need to make better financial decisions

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced legislation that will make a substantial commitment to revamp financial literacy programs in K-12 schools and colleges. The bill, the Financial Literacy Improvement Act of 2008, will invest $250 million to support new personal finance education programs. 

"It's important that Americans can fund their college education, start their own small businesses, and see the red flags that threaten their dreams," said Senator Murray. "And that all begins with being able to read the fine print and make the right financial decisions."

"When I talk to those struggling to payback the subprime loans that have ravaged our housing market, I often hear them say 'they didn't teach this stuff in school'. I think it's time that we made a real commitment to teaching financial literacy in schools and colleges." 

Senator Murray's bill splits the $250 million in grant funding into two different allotments. This allows the bill to address the problems adults are facing today while also providing help to ensure that future generations avoid the same mistakes we have seen in today's housing and credit markets.  

Of the $250 million in grant funding, $125 million will go to support classes in local colleges that students, working adults, and seniors can access to learn crucial financial basics. Another $125 million will go toward K-12 schools to teach financial literacy, help teachers incorporate financial lessons in other subjects, set new financial literacy standards, and develop innovative afterschool programs. 

"I believe we need to arm adults and young people with the education they need to protect themselves from predatory lenders and make sound financial decisions," said Senator Murray. "Whether you’re an adult who never learned the financial ropes or a teenager on your way to financial independence, this bill provides the tools you'll need."

Learn more about the details of Senator Murray's bill.