President Obama proclaims April to be National Financial Capability Month.  (It's also March Madness in Overtime Month, but I digress.)
Financial capability also means helping people avoid scams and demand fair treatment when they take out a mortgage, use a credit card, or apply for a student loan. My Administration continues to encourage responsibility at all levels of our financial system by cracking down on deceptive practices and ensuring that consumers are informed of their rights.

We also know that too many families are living paycheck-to-paycheck, unable to take advantage of tools that would help them plan for a middle class life. That is why we must build ladders of opportunity for everyone willing to climb them -- from a fair minimum wage that lifts working Americans out of poverty to high-quality preschool and early education that gets every child on the right track early. These reforms would encourage the kind of broad-based economic growth that gives everyone a better chance to secure their financial future.
Our President missed an opportunity to organize the communities of the struggling masses, in order that their teachers might put in their lesson plans the content that many of the children of prosperous districts get as a matter of course.

The state council for economic education suggests teachers, or parents, or the youngsters themselves, check out Pathways to Financial Success.  All the preschool and subsidized lunches and minimum wage jobs (if there are any) will not protect a young person from the blandishments of the payday loan hustler or the lottery: it takes awareness of the logic behind "if it sounds too good to be true, it's a scam."

The national Council for Economic Education invites teachers to submit "elevator pitch" videos of their best stuff for teaching financial literacy.  Get cracking, though.  The contest closes April 14, with a popularity contest opening April 16 on Facebook.  (There is no contradiction between teachers proscribing social media on company time and using social media on whatever they view as being off the clock.)

It's a task worth doing.  I cannot rest until I'm confident that students are capable of understanding the traps present in some of the more complicated financial instruments.

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