Card Hub, a website that hails itself as "The Web's Best Credit Card Resource," features an "ask the experts" story on evaluating the Financial Literacy Act for students. Noting that there is a "pandemic" of poor consumer borrowing, spending and payment habits, they approached a number of experts about North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan's desire to pass the Financial Literacy for Students Act, which would add financial literacy to K-12 public school curricula and develop professional education programs for teachers.
“I’ve seen bills like this before, definitely, and a lot of the states have them. In my state [New Mexico], we have one that says that every high school must offer financial literacy, but that’s different than this bill because this is a funded bill. With ours, it turns out that schools don’t have resources and so what they offer is very limited and optional and students don’t take it, so it really doesn’t work. I think this [Financial Literacy Act] could be good.
I do not think financial literacy classes are any kind of substitute for substantive consumer regulation. Sometimes people think, well if we have this financial literacy bill we don’t have to protect consumers. Some scholars, some law professors will say, well I’m opposed to financial literacy [legislation] because I think people try to use it as a substitute for substantive regulation. I think that’s crazy. I think you can do both and that they have nothing to do with each other.”
- Nathalie Martin, Frederick M. Hart Chair in Consumer and Clinical Law at the University of New Mexico School of Law