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State launches Financial Empowerment Curriculum pilot program in schools

LANSING — Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II recently announced that Henry Ford College and Dearborn Public Schools have launched the state’s first Financial Empowerment Curriculum, which teaches youth the basic principles of managing their money.

The pilot program represents the beginning of anticipated programs and partnerships between Michigan’s school districts and community colleges, officials said in a news release.

“Empowering our youth with an understanding about money will pay dividends for our future,” Gilchrist said in the release. “This pilot program provides a roadmap so we can help our youth plan a budget, save money, plan for taxes, and buy insurance. Those students who take this class will have a better understanding to make well-considered financial goals and the knowledge necessary to achieve those goals.”

The financial wellness of families is “increasingly being discussed across the nation as many families are experiencing a great imbalance of debt versus assets and savings,” organizers said in the release. “The imbalance can be attributed to extenuating circumstances in some cases and lack of financial education for others.”

In Michigan, the pilot between Dearborn Public Schools and Henry Ford College represents a first step to equip Michiganders for life’s financial challenges. During this pilot, Dearborn Public High School students will enroll in a personal finance course concurrently with Henry Ford College, gaining valuable financial life skills while earning college credit.

“The Dearborn Public Schools and Henry Ford College work hard to prepare our students for successful lives,” said Russ Kavalhuna, President of Henry Ford College, in the release. “Financial literacy is an important skill set that our students will need throughout their lives. Understanding the basic concepts of how money works can make a huge difference in empowering people and reducing financial concerns. We are proud to partner with the state in this effort.”

At the inaugural MI Financial Literacy Summit at Henry Ford College last year, State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks facilitated a panel discussion with experts from across the state about the role financial literacy has in shaping Michigan’s future through all phases of life, officials said.

“Our first summit last year was the beginning on an incredible dialog with so many experts who wanted to create a more successful Michigan,” State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said. “This curriculum is the beginning of what I desire to be available across our state. We must continue our discussions on how we can best financially empower individuals and families through statewide coordination.”

To learn more about the MI Financial Literacy initiative, go to www.michigan.gov/finlit or follow the state Treasury Department at @MITreasury on Twitter.

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