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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Virginia schools receive top marks for financial literacy

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

By BRANDON OSGOOD - Special to the News-Post

Virginia is one of seven states to receive an "A" rating in a national study of state efforts to produce financially literate high school graduates.

The study, released by the National Report Card on State Efforts to Improve Financial Literacy in High Schools, relies on data from all 50 states, as well as published reports on state initiatives and reviews of state legislation.

According to the report, seven states earned an "A," 13 states received a "B," six states earned a "C," 11 states were given a "D" and 11 states received a failing score.

Of the A-rated states, Virginia -- as well as Missouri, Tennessee and Utah -- was cited for mandating a stand-alone financial literacy course as a graduation requirement.

"The Virginia General Assembly and Board of Education have long recognized the importance of financial literacy for commonwealth students," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright. "The global economic downturn a few years ago confirmed the need for students to understand how markets operate."

"In taking this course, graduates receive knowledge to help them manage their money and become better consumers, savers, investors, entrepreneurs and active citizens in our global economy," Wright added.

In Virginia, high school students seeking a Standard Diploma or an Advanced Studies Diploma must successfully complete a one-credit Economics and Personal Finance course. The requirement became effective with students who entered the ninth grade in 2011-2012.

Franklin County High School students, mainly as freshmen and sophomores, take the Economy and Personal Finance class. Students also participate in an industry certification program called the W!SE Financial Literacy Test. So far, the high school has an average 78 percent pass rate on the exam.

Gov. Bob McDonnell, in partnership with the Virginia Council on Economic Education, launched the Governor's Challenge in Economics and Personal Finance in 2012 to promote economic and financial literacy. The annual online and live competition tests the personal finance skills and economics knowledge of teams of Virginia high school students. More than 2,000 students participated in this year's competition.

Although students from FCHS did not participate in last year's competition, the school plans on competing next year.

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