How to Teach Kids About Money

Today's conventional wisdom isn't working. What will?

Julie Blackmon for TIME

Of all the lessons taught by the financial crisis, the most personal has been that Americans aren't too slick with money. We take out home loans we can't afford. We run up sky-high credit-card debt. We don't save nearly enough for retirement.

In response, proponents of financial-literacy education are stumping with renewed zeal. School districts in states such as New Jersey and Illinois are adding money-management courses to their curriculums. The Treasury and Education departments are sending lesson plans to high schools and encouraging students to compete in the National Financial Capability Challenge that begins in March.

Students with top scores...

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