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EL PASO, Texas – Congress has designated April as Financial Literacy Month, and the El Paso Affordable Housing CUSO is using the occasion to place extra emphasis on educating consumers on the importance of having sound financial habits and acquiring financial management skills, especially as they relate to home ownership. The El Paso Affordable Housing CUSO, formed by eight credit unions, offers free classes on managing finances, including savings and checking accounts, credit and buying a home. Classes are offered throughout the year and taught in English and Spanish. Texas is in the process of phasing in a new law that would require personal financial education as part of high-school graduation requirements starting in the 2006-7 school year. The state would be one of 16 to either require that personal financial education be offered at the high school level or be part of graduation requirements. In the Jump$tart Coalition’s 2006 survey that tested the basic financial knowledge of U.S. high school students, the average student only scored 52.4% correct.

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