(MADISON) – Financial literacy efforts in Wisconsin took a big step forward today with the unanimous passage of AB 280 which directs each school board to adopt academic standards for financial literacy and incorporate instruction into the curriculum in grades kindergarten to 12.

“Financial literacy is an important aspect of every person’s life. Knowing how to save for retirement and understanding different types of loans will help Americans make smarter financial decisions through every stage of their life,” said Rose Oswald Poels, President/CEO of the Wisconsin Bankers Association. “If a person is not financially literate, they are open to being taken advantage of and are susceptible to a financially unstable future.”

States across America have different standards and ways of going about the personal finance crisis. According to the Council for Economic Education’s Economics and Personal Finance Education Report, states that have mandated financial education are seeing positive impacts.

Banks are here to support our schools with implementing financial literacy into the curriculum. Not only do we visit classrooms, but we also work with organizations and community coordinators to be visible where children spend their time. Our institutions supply both financial resources and human capital to ensure that financial literacy is a skill that will last a lifetime.

Between June 1, 2015 and May 31, 2016, a total of 520 bankers from across the state reported over 1,300 personal finance presentations. Those volunteer bankers educated more than 43,000 consumers of all ages about the importance of saving and budgeting, how to use credit responsibly, the ins and outs of obtaining a home mortgage or car loan, and many more financial topics. In the month of April alone, in conjunction with Teach Children to Save Day, nearly bankers from over 40 institutions reported 523 presentations that reached over 14,000 students.

The WBA and its members are committed to supporting financial literacy across the state and thank the 40 co-sponsors of AB 280, the Wisconsin Assembly and everyone else who supported this important first step in promoting financial literacy in the Badger State.