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These National Standards delineate the personal finance knowledge and ability that young people should acquire throughout their kindergarten through 12th grade school years (K-12) to emerge as independent adult consumers, fully prepared to make wise financial decisions for a lifetime of economic well-being. The National Standards represent the framework of a comprehensive personal finance curriculum that begins early in elementary school, builds on foundational knowledge and results in high school graduates who are competent, confident managers of their own money.

The 2015 edition of the National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education is published by the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy on behalf of its partners—from business, finance, government, academia, education, associations and other sectors—and its 50 independent state affiliates.

The National Standards were designed to guide classroom education, extra-curricular learning and the development of financial education programs, materials and tools, but also, can be easily and effectively used to guide informal education outside the classroom and at home; postsecondary and adult education; professional development for teachers, counselors and others; and other initiatives. They are organized into six sections that address:

  • Spending and Saving: Apply strategies to monitor income and expenses, plan for spending and save for future goals.
  • Credit and Debt: Develop strategies to control and manage credit and debt.
  • Employment and Income: Use a career plan to develop personal income potential.
  • Investing: Implement a diversified investment strategy that is compatible with personal financial goals.
  • Risk Management and Insurance: Apply appropriate and cost-effective risk management strategies.
  • Financial Decision Making: Apply reliable information and systematic decision making to personal financial decisions.

Rosella Bannister, Jump$tart Clearinghouse consultant and retired director of the National Institute for Consumer Education at Eastern Michigan University; Philip Heckman, retired director of youth programs for the Credit Union National Association, who developed CUNA’s preschool financial curriculum, Thrive by Five; and Susan Sharkey, director of the High School Financial Planning Program at the National Endowment for Financial Education and former instructional designer with the Worldwide Instructional Design System (WIDS) and high school business educator, updated the 2007 version of the National Standards and wrote new content to create this book. Their work was further guided by the national Jump$tart Coalition staff and more than 40 reviewers representing Jump$tart national partners, state affiliates, classroom educators and other stakeholders.  Graphic design by Lisa Lansing, Llansing Design, LLC.