Russ! I love your "to start learning to write you need a pen, to start learning finance you need money" comment. It's a 21st century issue, money is still a taboo topic - teaching our youth will enable them to feel empowered and secure as adults.
Wonderful post! I recently came across similar issues when looking to open a ROTH IRA. In order to make money faster I would need to play the market aggressively and in markets my morals want no part of it.
To answer your question tho, I think there is something to educating our youth. Pairing credit unions with schools to educate and offer financial education and planning would be ideal. Most youth habits are instilled by the age of 10 - could financial literacy in the education system dive deeper than balancing a check book?
Parental-mimicry is also a major factor to financial literacy. Could we educate parents to make better financial decisions? Could they decisions trickle down to their children?
I look forward to seeing your research develop further!