Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Pushes for Financial Literacy Lessons

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Pushes for Financial Literacy Lessons

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), third from left, advocated for student financial literacy at a roundtable on Wall Street Monday.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) made a renewed call for mandated collegiate financial literacy courses in a roundtable on Wall Street Monday.

Jackson Lee was one of many speakers at a New York Stock Exchange event advocating for more youth-targeted financial programs. The panelists explained that despite significant contributions to the economy, communities of color are less likely to participate in financial services due to a lack of education.

“Americans never understood the language of the financial markets,” Jackson Lee said. “Let us make financial literacy the language of America.”

Jackson Lee sponsored bill H.R. 1325, last month, which would require colleges and universities to provide at least four hours of financial counseling to students. If passed, student loan borrowers will be required to complete the sessions in order to graduate. They would receive lessons on how to invest, budget, and manage debt, including credit cards and student loans.

The event was attended by Luis Aguilar, commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission, NYSE CEO Duncan Niederauer, and John Hope Bryant, vice chairman of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy.

“In the last 20 years we made dumb sexy,” Bryant said. “We have to create a whole new generation of young people who have a different culture.”

Marcia A. Wade contributed reporting.