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Governor designates April as Financial Literacy Month

Photo Courtesy of Office of State Treasurer Lynn Fitch

Yesterday, Governor Phil Bryant signed the official proclamation designating April 2018 as Financial Literacy Month for Mississippi.  Nationally, the month is an opportunity to promote strong financial education and empower Americans of all ages and income levels to take control of their personal finances.  President Trump has issued his annual Presidential Message on National Financial Capability Month, as well.

The text of the Governor’s proclamation is as follows:

WHEREAS, the Mississippi Council on Economic Education is dedicated to improving the personal financial literacy of Mississippi youth by promoting the teaching of personal finance concepts using the economic way of thinking in kindergarten through twelfth grade; and

WHEREAS, it is essential that the people of Mississippi be financially literate in order to make informed and responsible decisions regarding money management, saving, investing, finance, credit, and debt; and

WHEREAS, two out of three Mississippians do not have sufficient savings to cover emergencies; and

WHEREAS, 44.2 million Americans owe $1.48 trillion in student loan debt; and

WHEREAS, over half of Mississippi college graduates in 2016 had student loan debt and that average debt was $29,384; and

WHEREAS, 39% of U.S. adults carry credit card debt month-to-month and more than 1 in 4 adults do not save anything saved for retirement; and

WHEREAS, 38% of Mississippians have no savings at all and 56% of residents have less than $1,000 saved; and

WHEREAS, acquisition of financial literacy skills by citizens will improve the quality of their lives,  provide them with skills for success,  contribute to positive changes in the communities in which they live and work, and  benefit the economy of Mississippi; and

WHEREAS, the Treasurer’s Education About Money (TEAM) initiative is committed to providing financial education to Mississippi schools at no cost to the school through a public-private partnership powered by EverFi and the Mississippi Council on Economic Education; and

WHEREAS, 30% of 4th-12th graders in Mississippi public schools are using EverFi’s online financial literacy curriculum in over 441 Mississippi schools, which is the highest percentage of students enrolled in this curriculum of any state in the nation; and

WHEREAS, the Mississippi Council on Economic Education will host the state Financial Literacy Challenge at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi on Thursday, April 19, 2018, from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm at which the state challenge winners and the state financial literacy student of the year will be named and receive Mississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) scholarships; and

WHEREAS, it is the desire of the Mississippi Council on Economic Education to designate April as “Financial Literacy Month” raising the public’s awareness of the need for financial education not only among our youth but all Mississippians and hereby urge all citizens to participate fully in this observance; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Phil Bryant, Governor of the State of Mississippi, hereby proclaim April as FINANCIAL LITERACY MONTH in the state of Mississippi.

In attendance at the proclamation signing ceremony with Governor Bryant were:  Treasurer Lynn Fitch; Selena Swartzfager, Executive Director of the Mississippi Council on Economic Education (MCEE); Jessica Lewis and Allie Hudson, staff at MCEE; Paula McNair, Brad Maley, Susan Lee, Johnny Ray, Brooks Mosley, Brad Davis, and Emelia Nordan from the MCEE Board of Trustees; and Taylor Mullins, Kathryn Ray, and Brady Sistrunk from the Office of the State Treasurer.

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