The second initiative is more local and comes in the form of a well-crafted California legislative bill being considered by the state Senate and sponsored by Sen. Ted W. Lieu, D-Redondo Beach, representing more than 1 million residents in senate District 28. Senate Bill 1080 was recently considered by the Senate Education Committee and approved on a bipartisan 9-0 vote. Specifically, SB 1080 would authorize school districts to provide instruction related to personal finances in economics curriculum as well as personal financial topics, such as budgeting, savings, and credit and identity theft.

‘Tools they need’

The bill also would require the state Department of Education to include financial literacy in the textbooks for mathematics and history-social studies. As Lieu noted in his comments in support of the bill, “I believe the teaching of financial literacy skills is vital to the equipping the young people of California with the tools they need to enter the work force.”

The last initiative is from the California Council on Economic Education, a leading provider of economic and financial literacy in the classroom. The initiative is introducing the most advanced online learning platform to teachers and students throughout California, allowing unprecedented access to best practice financial literacy content and educational materials. This platform, EconWorks, will be a game-changer in the campaign to improve financial literacy in the classroom.

Financial education is a key to reviving the American Dream for millions of California adults and young people. The overwhelming majority of people wish they were taught about money when they were younger. Let us use April 2012 to capture the initiative on this crucial life skill.

William Coffin is chairman of the California Council on Economic Education. He is the former chief executive of CCG Investor Relations in Los Angeles.