Step over John Wayne. After almost ten years of advocating and lobbying by a small group of passionate individuals, with some interchangeable parts, a k-12 financial literacy bill has been signed into law. It will go into effect on April 10th. This bill is as much focused on equity and the importance of quality k-12 education as it is focused on financial literacy.
Many students will go on to college but all will be expected to fill out and submit tax forms. Most will buy a car, invest in a phone and either rent or buy a home- all real-world application of economic decision making. Choices are good as long as you have the foundational understanding of the marginal costs and benefits.
As we prepare our youth for successful, productive futures which should include full participation in the nation’s economy, we need to use their time in school to help each student develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors that will assure their success.
If you are a school system creating a Portrait of A Graduate you should be including financial literacy in the mix of skills and knowledge necessary for students to learn.
If you are considering introducing (more) financial literacy in your class, or school system, or discipline be aware that the state is working at identifying quality resources for teaching and learning financial education for k-12 and across the curriculum. Both the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Office of the State Treasurer are working to create a repository of vetted and curated k-12 financial literacy resources.
Similarly, if you are interested in simple ways to introduce financial literacy concepts into existing courses, MADESE is beginning to capture those types of resources. If you are seeking to conduct a physical program to raise student and community awareness i.e. a Credit for Life Fair, the State Treasurer’s Office is offering a new wave of Credit for Life Fair grants.
If you are looking for quality lesson plans, units and activities there are several national organizations that provide anywhere from a single activity to full semester courses focused on personal finance content and standards
- Council for Economic Education’s EconEdLink
- Econ Lowdown
- National Jump$tart Clearinghouse
- National Endowment for Financial Education’s High School Financial Planning Program
- NextGen PF
- Take Charge Today
This is a representative list of such resources. It is neither comprehensive nor exhaustive.
Things are looking up for the teaching and learning of financial literacy in Massachusetts schools for all students across the state with: the state treasurer’s office focus on the last unfulfilled Financial Literacy Advisory k-12 recommendation- a repository of personal finance resources; to the adoption of the National Financial Literacy Standards By MADESE for History & Social Science curriculum standards; to the passage of a financial education bill by Governor Baker. These actions made important stakeholders seem to corroborate our need to do more in assuring that all our youth have access to a quality education while attending our schools.
Amy Duckworth’s book entitled Grit: The power of passion and perseverance would be a good subtitle for this article and our efforts. Not to say that there are not smart people involved, far from the truth, but I believe it was our passion and perseverance that helped us reach our goal.
About the blogger: George “Scott” Guild is the President of the Massachusetts Council on Economic Education. Connect with him on Twitter @econedtweets or at Massachusetts Council on Economic Education.
This blog post was relaunched on mbea-ma.org with permission from the blogger. You may find the original post HERE.