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MAINE BUREAU OF CONSUMER CREDIT PROTECTION
35 SHS, Augusta, Maine 04333
First New England Education Forum a Sucess
November 7, 2008
Contact: David Leach (207) 624-8528, 1-800-DEBT-LAW
Principal Examiner, Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection
Advocates organize regional advisory board to increase financial literacy education for New England students
BOSTON, MA – Advocates for youth financial literacy, including representatives from Maine, recently participated in the first New England Youth Financial Education Forum, from October 27-29, at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
More than 40 youth financial literacy professionals – representing youth financial literacy coalitions, state and federal government agencies, non-profit organizations, financial service corporations, and schools – discussed how to increase personal financial education in K-12 schools throughout the region.
At the conclusion of the forum, attendees formed an advisory board (under the auspices of the Boston Federal Reserve Bank) with the goal of aggressively promoting financial literacy education for all New England students. Members of the new board agreed that none of the New England states currently are providing adequate personal financial education in schools and that a coordinated regional effort is needed to bring more attention to the policy area.
A keynote speaker at the forum, Dan Iannicola, Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Education, United States Department of the Treasury, described the current American economic situation as a “national teachable moment.” Regarding the work of Forum attendees, he stated, “I applaud your efforts in addressing youth financial education throughout New England and look forward to the outcomes of your efforts.”
Jim Hedemark, executive director of the Rhode Island Jump$tart Coalition, noted, “While there is little disagreement among education policymakers regarding the need for personal financial education of our youth, there is little time dedicated to the subject matter during the school day for the vast majority of New England students. This must change if we are to prepare our next generation of adults to participate in today’s turbulent, dynamic and increasingly complex personal financial marketplace.”
Hedemark, along with Scott Guild, director of economic education at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, were key organizers of the forum. “It’s critical that we continue to advocate for best-practice programming in our schools based on standards,” said Guild, “and devise a coordinated system of measurement that will allow us to track our progress.”
The newly formed advisory board will discuss strategic planning when it next meets in January. The following individuals represented Maine at the Forum:
Professor Wendy Harper, Ph.D., University of Maine at Farmington; David Leach, MPA, Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection; Nigel Norton, Maine Department of Education; and Bill Olsen, Jr. President, Maine Jump$tart Coalition and Vice President at Bangor Savings Bank.
David Leach, speaking on behalf of the Maine delegation to the Forum said:
“This newly formed youth financial education advisory board, backed by the expertise and commitment of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, will bring about positive change in the increased availability of much needed financial education offerings for K-12 students, not only in the state of Maine, but all of New England.”
Leach explained that expanding young adults’ knowledge in the areas of credit, banking services, personal money management and responsible borrowing are necessary skills that all young people should possess before going out on their own. “The importance of increasing financial education offerings at the K-12 levels is an issue that the vast majority of adults can agree on. Proactively providing our young people with a solid understanding of the responsible use of credit, in today’s economic climate, is essential. Knowing the importance of saving and investing for the future, plus a working knowledge of how various financial services products work, are requisite skills that will increase the probability that today’s K-12 students will lead a financially responsible adult life.”
“Our advisory group is in agreement on the importance of increasing financial education offerings throughout New England, and our next challenge is developing an effective plan to bring this goal to reality for a brighter future for our young people, and the long-term enhancement of New England’s private sector economy as well,” Leach added.
David Leach can be reached at Maine’s Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection within the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation at (207)624-8528 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
The forum was organized by representatives from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Boston office, the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Treasury Office of Financial Education, the Massachusetts Office of the Treasurer, and the New England Jump$tart Coalition. Funding was provided by the National Council on Economic Education (NCEE) and Citi, with additional support from the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), Visa, and Topics Education.
The Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection was established in 1975 to enforce a variety of credit-related consumer laws. The Office licenses lenders, creditors and collectors; conducts periodic examinations of creditors to determine compliance with state laws; and responds to consumer complaints and inquiries. The Office also conducts educational seminars and provides speakers to advise consumers and creditors of their legal rights and responsibilities.
Last Updated: April 14, 2010 9:22 AM
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