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Jump$tart National Educator Conference

Just back from exhibiting at the third annual Jump$tart National Educator Conference in Washington, DC. The event was attended by a few hundred teachers from all but six of the United States (Alaska and Hawaii one can understand, but Georgia didn’t make it?). It was sponsored by Experian and Wells Fargo Foundation and offered in partnership with the National Education Association.
A very good group of people who are, by and large, out in the trenches of (public and private) middle and high schools (some younger grades too, K-12, plus some community educators working with older audiences), teaching personal finance and economics, as well as business, entrepreneurship and the like in classrooms.
At the event, Cassandra McConnell, Deputy Assistant Director, of the Office of Financial Education at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, spoke about the CFPB and its mission and structure in hopes of creating a fair and competitive marketplace. The Consumer Education and Engagement office divides into branches: Financial Education, Consumer Engagement, Older Americans, Servicemembers, Students, and Financial Empowerment (focusing on low-income).
Perhaps as a harbinger of what the agency will be, its current website is clean and simple. McConnell noted the “Tell Your Story” section where consumers can relate something good or bad about how they’ve interacted with financial products and services. Those stories will, according to McConnell, help the agency spot trends in terms of what it will focus on.
One interesting point of McConnell’s speech was her discussion of “just in time” financial education. In short, financial education is more readily accepted by people—something they often don’t eagerly anticipate or willingly embrace—when they couple it with a financial choice, decision, or purchase in which they are involved. This may be, for example, getting a first paycheck, buying a car, buying a house, etc.