concepts starting in kindergarten and build on those concepts through high school graduation to
ensure that America’s youth has the financial know-how to take charge of their future.227 Yet,
despite this consensus, little has been done at the federal level—and ground is being lost at the
state level—to implement and integrate financial education curricula into the school day. The
federal government should enact legislation that provides much needed education funding to state
and local governments in exchange for their meeting basic financial education goals. While
education funding can be expensive, the cost to the economy of failing to remediate the financial
illiteracy problem will prove far more in the long run.228 If America truly wishes to live up to its
values of equality and prosperity for all, the education system must provide every person with the
tools to reach for the American Dream—and financial literacy is one of the most critical tools on
that tool belt.
227 FIN. LITERACY & EDUC. COMM’N, supra note 25.
228 See Harnisch, supra note 28, at 7-10 (listing various ways that bad financial decisions impact the larger economy, including, for
example, poor retirement planning that increases dependence on social security).