Aug. 30, 2016
Board of Education
Attn: Melissa Luchau
P.O. Box 2120
Richmond, VA 23218
RE: Virginia’s Board of Education’s “Profile of a Virginia Graduate” and graduation requirements
Dear Virginia Board of Education:
The Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) would like to thank the Virginia Board of Education (Board) and the Virginia Department of Education for the opportunity to provide comment on the Profile of a Virginia Graduate.
On behalf of its 12,000 members, the VSCPA commends the Board’s inclusion of the one unit of credit in economics and personal finance course as a graduation requirement for all Virginia students in the current Standards of Accreditation. We urge the Board to retain this requirement, which took effect in September 2011, as it continues to impact Virginia graduates.
In light of today’s financial challenges and state of the U.S. economy, financial literacy and wise money management are more critical than ever for our youth. As a long-standing advocate of educational initiatives that increase the financial knowledge and fiscal responsibility of Virginia’s youth, the VSCPA urges you, Virginia’s leaders in education, to remain on the cutting edge by retaining educational requirements that increase economic and financial literacy of all Virginia students.
Financial literacy trends in this country remain startling. In total, American consumers owe $733 billion in credit card debt and $1.23 trillion in student loans, and last year over 800,000 Americans filed for bankruptcy. In addition, 60 percent of U.S. adults say they don’t keep close track of their spending, 34 percent say they have no non-retirement savings, and 41 percent give themselves a grade of C, D, or F on their knowledge of personal finance.
The VSCPA is happy to serve as a resource to the Board and all Virginia educators in supporting the continuation of the economics and personal finance graduation requirement for all Virginia high schools. Together we can make a sound financial future for Virginia’s youth — ensuring our students leave high school with the tools to manage money responsibly and become financially independent contributors to society.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact VSCPA Vice President of Advocacy Emily Walker, CAE, at [email protected] or (804) 612-9428, if we can be of assistance.
Again, the VSCPA sincerely appreciates the opportunity to participate in the public comment process. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Stephanie Peters, CAE
President & CEO
Virginia Society of CPAs