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Girgenti/Turner Bill To Educate Elementary School Students About Personal Finance Clears Senate Education Panel

Senator John A. Girgenti, D-Passaic and Bergen, Vice Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, listens to testimony before the Committee.

TRENTON – A measure sponsored Senators John A. Girgenti and Shirley K. Turner which would establish a pilot program to provide a course in financial literacy to elementary school students was unanimously approved today by the Senate Education Committee.

“It’s a pretty well known fact that many credit card companies target young students with an influx of credit card applications as soon as they turn 18,” said Senator Girgenti, D-Passaic and Bergen. “This legislation would help teach students from an early age, the importance of saving and managing their money, while showing them the benefits of developing long-term savings goals.”

“With the economy bracing for some serious changes, it is imperative that we educate our students about how to manage their finances, and not incur unnecessary debt,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer, who Chairs the Senate Education panel. “Too often, our young people are very concerned with keeping up with the ever-changing and increasingly expensive trends, while not paying enough attention to the effect it can have on their parents’ bank accounts. Our young people must be taught how to manage their money, so that they can go on to make responsible financial choices. If it helps to make them more appreciative of the sacrifices their parents make for them, that’s a definite plus.”

The Senators’ bill, S-541, calls upon the Commissioner of Education to establish a three-year Youth Investment Club pilot program to provide elementary school students with financial literacy education.

The program would have to give students an introduction to basic financial concepts, while assisting them in opening a savings account.

The Commissioner of Education would also be responsible for providing curriculum and sample instructional materials, as well as a grant to cover the cost of any costs associated with the program.

This measure now heads to the full Senate for approval.

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