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THESE ANSWERS AND COMMENTS WERE SOLICITED FROM SUMMIT PARTICIPANTS AS THEY REGISTERED.

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE ANSWERED OR SOMETHING SPECIFIC THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEARN AT THE SUMMIT?

  1. Could the development of "State of Vermont" standards for financial literacy, give us the ability to apply for grants to promote state-wide financial literacy initiatives.
  2. Given the amount of material to cover and the limited time teachers have with their students, how would you suggest that financial literacy fit in with existing curricula?
  3. How do we elevate the importance of financial literacy to be at least as important as graduating from high school?
  4. How can students plan for and manage their education debt and still achieve their goals, including purchasing a home, having children, and planning for retirement?
  5. What does a financially literate person do?
  6. What will be the funding sources for new or continuing financial literacy programs?
  7. What are other schools doing to address this issue?
  8. Is there going to be discussion about how our "values" drive our financial behaviors? Bottom line: if you want to know what a person's values are, see how they spend their time and money.
  9. How can we get financial literacy subjects required in grade school, high school and college curriculum? I began working on this topic in 1976.
  10. If personal finance becomes a requirement, will specific Carnegie Units be attached or will the schools be allowed some flexibility in this regard?
  11. How can we prioritize the broad need for improved financial literacy for students of all ages?
  12. Teacher comfort and confidence in knowing and teaching technical content is very important to the success of classroom instruction. What plans are there to help provide both in the strategy of the Vermont Center for Financial Literacy?
  13. Ways to help students see the importance of personal finance knowledge. How do we address this issue without a dedicated staff for this topic?
  14. Business financial literacy is also very important. There are many new business owners that lack basic financial knowledge and this affects them negatively - such as not withholding taxes, importance of good personal credit to getting a business loan, etc.
  15. Where can teachers obtain appropriate preparation to teach such a course?
  16. What does the Financial Literacy Program look like at other colleges? We are interested in implementing a financial literacy program on our campus.
  17. How to create and support a collaborative, inclusive, mutually accountable and community-wide financial literacy movement.
  18. What can be offered to low to moderate income families within the community to place them on the right path to asset building to provide self-sufficiency?
  19. Financial Literacy is a key element in developing effective and productive citizens which is the goal of education.
  20. Are there any studies that document the effectiveness of financial literacy training for the college student population, either in Vermont or in New England?
  21. Since most of us learn financial habits from the people that surround us in our lives (i.e., parents and guardians), has any thought been given to including parents in financial literacy programs taught at schools?
  22. What fundamental financial skills and knowledge provide a basis for the lifelong growth of financial literacy for an individual? Are there critical non-financial skills and knowledge required other than the obvious ones of reading, writing and basic math?
  23. To what extent will the center inform students, teachers and anybody else in Vermont of the importance of Community Investing and the development of their product lines as an alternative to mainstream investment products i.e.: CD's, mutual funds, stocks/bonds.
  24. I am interested in getting some insight into how I might implement a financial literacy component into our (senior year) advisory program.
  25. How can the various constituents in the financial education arena (Vermont Jump$tart, the Treasurer's Office, Champlain College, individual financial institutions, others) in Vermont work together more closely to have more impact?
  26. I would like to learn how to mobilize state resources to better equip our young people with minimum economic competence to prepare them to compete in the world.

WHY DO YOU THINK FINANCIAL LITERACY IS IMPORTANT FOR VERMONT STUDENTS?

  1. Essential Life Skills.
  2. Making affordable choices. Everyone in this country has an opportunity for higher education, but it is important to make an affordable choice.
  3. I believe that financial literacy and student career and life aspirations are connected. Unfortunately, in our quest to provide for kids and make their lives better than ours, we have created a sheltered life for kids with parents taking care of them financially until they are young adults. This has left our kids both unable to fend for themselves and unable to understand and handle money.
  4. Current financial rules are designed to keep wealth in the hands of a few. Not understanding the rules leaves individuals defenseless.
  5. Mastery of money gives one life choices that would not otherwise be available.
  6. Financial literacy is important for students so that they may create the foundation for navigating through personal finances as they transition to young adults: A skill that is so important to their success.
  7. Students need to be able to handle the real world personal finance management regardless of income level. Financially competent people are good consumers that know the difference between a good deal and a bad deal.
  8. As someone who used to conduct one-on-one counseling meetings for clients with high unsecured debt loads as well as foreclosure mitigation, I have seen how a lack of financial literacy affects people from all walks of life and income levels. I have seen the consequences of a lack of financial education but I have also taught financial literacy and seen the benefits in increased savings rates and decreased debt that financial literacy can bring even without increases in income.
  9. A basic understanding of finances is essential for living on one's own and not making costly mistakes because of the lack of knowledge that can be so easily acquired.
  10. As a banker, I am concerned that we do not start teaching our children early enough the financial lessons they need to be financially literate and to develop the skills necessary to make smart financial choices later on in their lives.
  11. Financial Literacy has a bearing on their success, reputation, marriage, and stress levels
  12. We have too many students getting themselves into financial difficulty once they go to college because of their lack of understanding of basic financial concepts.
  13. No matter what path our Vermont students choose to follow after high school and no matter how much they earn in their careers, they will surely experience hardship if they do not know how to manage their money. It is our responsibility as parents, teachers and mentors to give them the money management skills that will guide them the rest of their lives.
  14. This is a more financially-complex world for students today than we could ever have imagined when they were born. Providing them with the knowledge and skill to maneuver the personal financial landscape is essential in preparing them to become successful adults.
  15. For their general knowledge included in the basic skills for a good life - financial stability for her/himself and family - to spread the knowledge to others who don't have it.
    After almost 30 years in the personal credit industry I've seen the trouble people get into because they don't know how to manage their finances. Education can prevent this.
  16. This is a topic that should be addressed as an integral part of a student's high school education.
  17. Our kids need to be armed with the skills to manage their finances so that they can be successful adults. We need to work with our kids to help them understand the importance of personal finance so they can lift themselves or others out of poverty or avoid poverty.
  18. To begin the long term process of addressing the lack of financial sophistication that led to the Recession of 2008.
  19. Financial Literacy should be an essential part of the curriculum - infused in all disciplines - as well as Entrepreneurial/Entrepreneurship & 21st Century Workforce Development Skills; It is not taught in most secondary institutions in VT..., there is an enormous gap in our youth's learning about financial management/personal finance (let alone adults that would benefit from this!); unfortunately some schools that had classes in place have eliminated them due to other mandated requirements and many schools look upon this as for the "at risk/lower level" students only -- very sad! The need is now more than ever!
  20. With the cost of higher education increasing, students are looking at beginning their professional lives with the possibility of significant debt. Credit cards and cars only compound the problem. These students face fewer, delayed or deferred options in reaching their housing goals. Moreover, retirement planning is also deferred, or at least improperly implemented, given the added debt load.
  21. Financial literacy is essential life skill for everyone. Running your personal finances is the most important business you will ever pursue.
  22. Financial literacy permeates everything we do throughout our lives and yet we often have more education and requirements to get a driver's license than a credit card. We make youth take driving classes and lessons to get a driver's permit; then they must practice in the presence of an experienced driver to safely build driving skills; then they must pass a proficiency test in order to get a license and many states have age-related restrictions that give driving privileges incrementally to help foster success. Few youth are offered the same comprehensive education regarding finances and credit. And I assert that a person armed with a credit card and access to debt can be just as dangerous to themself and society as a person with no experience or skills who is given a car to drive.
  23. A sucker may be born every day, but there are things that people can do to keep from getting fooled.
  24. Helps to insure their success.
  25. There is a dire need for greater financial literacy among the general public. Many high schoolers leave for college with no financial concepts, some with credit card debt already.
  26. Many college graduates' financial expectations of what their immediate career and lifestyle will be does not mesh with reality.
  27. In a society where parents don't know how to talk to their teens about money, how else are our students supposed to learn, not only to protect themselves, but to in turn talk to their children as well?
  28. Yes, very much so as it critical to future stability and responsible life management.
  29. A financially literate citizen is an independent and contributing citizen.
  30. Businesses have an array of resources deployed to get consumer's money. We have one real chance to reach everyone and teach them some defenses before they face personal financial difficulties.
  31. Students (and adults) are increasingly exposed to easy spending and borrowing opportunities through a variety of media. It is critical they understand the consequences of spending, borrowing and investing choices.
  32. I think it's critical for everyone. I have an MBA but the financial world is so complicated that even I need to constantly improve my literacy.
  33. Financial Literacy should be a core component of our entire educational system. I challenge you to name a skill other than financial literacy that will play a role in an individual's life every day.
  34. Vermont students will become Vermont adults making financial decisions for the rest of their lives. The better their decisions, the better our economy - and their lives.
  35. Knowledge is power, and we've seen what can happen when there is a knowledge void.
  36. Financial education will allow Vermont students to be intelligent consumers, informed citizens and financially capable adults fully contributing to the state's and the nation's economy.
  37. It is important for all college students, particularly since they will likely be graduating with a fair amount of debt. Knowing how to manage finances will help ensure that their adult life is not compromised at its start.
  38. It is a vital life skill and plays a huge role in their ability to become financially independent of their parents and start planning for a successful financial future.
  39. We all certainly know how to spend money; therefore we should know how to be more financially savvy.
  40. Recent economic conditions have brought the need for financial literacy to the forefront. When times became tough, it was clear that not everyone had been taught the skills they needed to navigate the rough waters.
  41. Financial life is complicated and we owe our students appropriate preparation as consumers.
  42. As a math teacher, it is clear to me that No Child Left Behind's singular focus on Algebra and college prep math courses has resulted in the neglect of more "practical/real-life" math literacy as it relates to business, budgeting, and purchasing.
  43. Financial literacy is important for all students, for taking control of their financial situation at any stage of their financial life.
  44. Rising cost of college tuition, increased loan limits and the impact of defaulted student loans all point to the need for personal finance education in college.
  45. 84% of US students have credit cards and the average US credit card debt is over $15,000. 31,000 Vermont families are under banked of which 20,000 are headed by persons under the age of 45. The sooner our youth learn money management and how to build financial assets the better the chance they have in breaking the debt chain.
  46. Financial literacy is one of the important building blocks for a better future. No matter your financial situation, understanding your choices is vital to making the best decisions. As a CPA and consultant advising people on financial matters on virtually a daily basis, it amazes me that so many people have so little knowledge in this area. I have worked with people who are extremely intelligent when it comes to their work who have almost no savvy when it comes to their finances. If it were up to me, students would not be able to be graduated from college - or, even better, high school - without having had at least a basic course in financial issues, including personal income taxes.
  47. Based on the increased rise in college tuition, students need to increase their understanding of the impact of educational debt and career choice on their short and long term financial goals post college.
  48. To be raised in a capitalistic culture without financial literacy is akin to being raised in a hunter/gatherer culture or fishing culture without learning how to hunt, gather or fish. It foreshadows hardship, diminished independence and perhaps some level of servitude.
  49. I have been teaching financial literacy to high school seniors for the past six years. It is amazing how many high school seniors graduate in this country without the necessary tools to succeed in life financial. It is crucial that financial literacy be taught to our students.
  50. I believe students and adults should understand how our economy works, functions, thrives and fails. I didn't understand how the stock market worked until I was in my 20s & out of college. It wasn't even a subject mentioned in high school. If given the opportunity, I think kids will find some aspects of financial literacy fun to learn.
  51. When considering college - the high costs and loan debt need to be taken into account and students don't seem to put those two factors together.
  52. I have found that too many students and parents don't know how to think about cost and debt. We are not skilled at waiting for what we want and as parents we pay too much for the convenience of not having to have our children wait -- we want them to have what they want and this is not going to be good for them in the long run.
  53. As the lead person for our advisor programming, I think that it is essential that every senior leaving our school has an understanding of what is expected of them in the future regarding their finances.
  54. I think financial literacy is important as it is a real life skill that students need to start using even before they graduate from high school. The financial decisions that students make in their late teens and early 20's often effect them for decades. Unlike most things in life, one's finances are not something to be learned about through trial and error.
  55. I think that financial literacy is extremely important in Vermont. Being such a small state, we actually have a large percentage of people that are in debt, and I believe that this can be changed if we integrate financial literacy at the elementary school level.
  56. I believe financial literacy is important to leading productive, healthy lives. Poor financial choices may impact health, relationship, families and ultimately can impact whole communities.
  57. It's critical for their future professional and personal success.
  58. Given the mortgage crisis from the past few years, there are obviously too many adults who are fiscally illiterate. If we can teach our children the importance of financial literacy, hopefully we will develop financially responsible adults later.
  59. Young people are not currently being provided with the knowledge and tools they will need to successfully handle their financial lives. Due to a lack of financial education, people across the country abuse credit, do not save enough, and do not have a basic understanding of investments. This is a frightening and unsustainable situation, and I am thrilled to see that we are working toward positive change.
  60. It's a life skill like reading and writing that we take for granted and assume parents will teach their kids. It's critical for being good stewards of their money, and other people's money.
  61. They need to have these skills before they get to college and are on their own.
  62. Financial literacy is the very foundation of our democracy and the country's economy hinges upon developing an economically literate society.
  63. Financial literacy is important because the lack of economic confidence is a larger threat than a man hiding in a cave (or in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan).
  64. The lack of 'Fiscal Fitness' is the reason we are in the budget crunch we are in—students need to understand how to use the tool called money.