I was thrilled to attend the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) first town hall meeting on financial education in Dallas on September 7, co-hosted by Texas Appleseed. At the event, CFPB Director Richard Cordray shared findings from the Bureau’s new report, “Building Blocks to Help Youth Achieve Financial Capability.”
At the meeting, a variety of attendees, including financial institutions and financial education practitioners from the Dallas area, were given the opportunity to share their ideas for ways in which the CFPB could support their work. Director Cordray said Texas is doing well compared to other states to advance youth financial education given our state’s strong K-12 financial education curriculum mandate. The mandate requires that financial education be taught as part of the math curriculum from Kindergarten to eighth grade.
The CFPB’s new report, an important contribution to the financial education field, describes how young people acquire the three “building blocks” of financial capability that help develop money management skills as adults. Financial capability is the capacity, based on knowledge, skills, and access, to manage financial resources effectively. The building blocks in the report are: 1) executive function (self-control, working memory, and problem-solving), 2) financial habits and norms (healthy money habits), and 3) financial knowledge and decision-making skills (factual knowledge and research and analysis skills). The Bureau also released the resource, Personal Finance Pedagogy, which provides guidance for how educators can use the building blocks in the classroom.
Director Cordray also announced the launch of the CFPB’s Money As You Grow book club, geared for children ages 4 to 10. The book club aims to get kids reading and talking about managing their money and expand the Bureau’s partnership with public libraries. We appreciate the Bureau’s efforts to connect with financial education practitioners in Texas and their important work to increase Americans’ financial capability.
Charter of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, U.S. Department of the Treasury (2010).