Taking out a loan, filing taxes, balancing a checkbook and planning for retirement are things nearly every person will do throughout their lives, yet most schools don't teach students how to do any of them. As of 2007, students in Oklahoma can no longer graduate high school without proving that they understand basic personal finance by meeting 14 state standards. As an unfunded mandate, Oklahoma's Passport to Financial Literacy Act
provides flexibility for how students learn what they need to -- so credit unions are teaming up with school districts and consumer advocacy companies to offer financial literacy courses online, reports the Credit Union Times
. The courses are interactive programs that allow students to learn and prove their mastery of all state standards for financial literacy. This way, no additional teachers are needed and no additional work is piled onto their desks. School administrators can then access the program to verify students' progress, and the system provides transcripts in case the student has to transfer schools. This effort is expected to serve as a national model since more states (13 as of 2009
) are requiring financial literacy instruction in order to graduate.