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Florida’s partial victory

By Alan

Since 2011, the Florida Council on Economic Education (FCEE) has pursued a legislative requirement for a standalone course in personal finance. Finally, in 2019, after years of negotiating and advocating, the legislature passed a requirement for that course. While the bill’s passing is a victory for Florida students, it is only a partial one—legislators require only that the course be offered, not that it be taken for graduation.

The Dorothy Hukill Financial Literacy Act provides students with the opportunity to take a full-semester course in personal finance. The course must be offered in addition to and separate from the required economics course where personal finance content was previously taught, providing students access to a more thorough personal finance class while still giving economics the full attention it deserves. The new elective is based on the Council for Economic Education’s National Standards for Financial Literacy and is offered at both the honors and regular course levels.

State Senator Travis Hutson said of the legislation, “It has been an amazing year carrying such an important piece of legislation for my dear friend Senator Hukill. I look forward to seeing more and more students avail themselves of this opportunity.”

Much work remains to be done. Unfortunately, the Florida legislature did not appropriate any funding toward the implementation and creation of the course. Additionally, the FCEE and its partners around the state plan to pursue a mandate for this important course and are working with representatives from both the public and private sectors to make this a reality. In the meantime, FCEE continues to provide assistance, training and resources to teachers around the state as they take on this exciting new course.

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POSTED: February 5, 2020 | BY: brendan

Requirements matter. So does access.

By Alan

Requirements matter

Carly Urban
Christiana Stoddard
Montana State University

With the rise of student loan debt, there is concern that student borrowers are not fully informed when making decisions about how much to borrow and from where. Can state-required financial education in high school provide the necessary tools to make a more informed decision? Yes— results show that when students receive financial education, they borrow more sensibly, shifting from high-cost to low-cost financing. Financial education graduation requirements* increase applications for aid, the likelihood of receiving a grant, and acceptance of federal loans, which are all low-interest means of borrowing. At the same time, financial education decreases the likelihood of holding credit card balances, and the education reduces higher-cost private loan amounts for borrowers. For students from lower income families, financial education reduces their need to work while enrolled, which likely increases their probability of graduation. While the graduation requirements positively affect borrowing behavior, they do not change where or whether students choose to go to school.

*A state is classified as having a graduation requirement if the state either (1) requires a standalone class, (2) requires personal finance material to be integrated into another class, or (3) requires standards in personal finance be taught within a curriculum.

THIS ARTICLE SUMMARIZES THE FINDINGS DETAILED IN THE FOLLOWING RESEARCH:
Christiana Stoddard and Carly Urban. “The Effects of Financial Education Graduation Requirements on Postsecondary Financing Decisions” Forthcoming: Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking.
2019 National Endowment of Financial Education Executive Summary. “Better Borrowing: How State-Mandated Financial Education Drives College Financing Behavior,” 2018. Access here: https://www.nefe.org/_images/ research/Effects-of-K-12-Financial-EducationMandates/Better-Borrowing-Report-MSUExecutive-Summary.pdf


So does access

According to Next Gen Personal Finance, in the graduating class of 2019:


Most high schoolers had at least some access to personal finance, with almost 70% provided the option to take at least a one-semester elective


However, less than 17% of high schoolers were required to take at least one semester of personal finance


In states where there is no required one-semester personal finance course, there are large gaps between schools educating higher and lower income students:

  • • In schools in which at least 75% of students were eligible for free and reduced lunch (FRL)*, only 3.9% of students were required to take a one-semester personal finance course, and an additional 52.4% were provided at least an option
  • • In schools in which less than 25% of students were FRL eligible, students were nearly three times as likely to be required to take a one-semester personal finance course (10.5%), and an additional 61.6% were provided at least an option

*FRL is a common proxy for low income

SOURCE: “Who Has Access to Financial Education in America Today?” Next Gen Personal Finance, 2019, https://www.ngpf.org/advocacy-report/.

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POSTED: February 5, 2020 | BY: brendan

North Carolina expands and strengthens instruction in economics and personal finance

By Alan

Recognizing that financial literacy skills are critical for success in career and life, North Carolina business leaders and policymakers recently championed a bipartisan effort to increase the emphasis on instruction in economics and personal finance for high school students. During the 2019 legislative session, North Carolina established a required, full-year course in economics and personal finance for high school graduates. This new course will be developed by the State Board of Education and North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and will ensure all students have access to high-quality instruction on the true cost of credit, borrowing, credit scores and reports, and planning and paying for post-secondary education. The course will be required for graduation beginning with the class of 2024 and replaces a course that combined content standards in civics, government, and economics. The legislation assures that economics and personal finance content get more time and attention in a standalone course while civics and government content are still covered in the other three required social studies courses.

This successful legislation was the culmination of several years of hard work by a broad coalition of educators, non-profits—including the North Carolina Council on Economic Education—business leaders, and legislators, all of whom recognized the importance of economic and financial education for North Carolina’s young people.

The post North Carolina expands and strengthens instruction in economics and personal finance appeared first on Council for Economic Education.

POSTED: February 5, 2020 | BY: brendan

Fidelity’s partnership with Invest in Girls is changing lives

By Sponsored Content

Post by Fidelity Investments, a sponsor of our 58th Annual Financial Literacy & Economic Education Conference.

Whether through Invest In Girls (IIG) workshops, which teach financial concepts to 10th, 11th and 12th grade girls, role model exchange which provides mentors from the finance and financial services sectors or industry exposure trips which offer experiential learning for girls, partnering with the Council for Economic Education has allowed Fidelity Investments to positively impact the lives of hundreds girls.

At Fidelity Investments we think differently about community. Our focus of helping people prepare for the lives they want to live goes beyond “one and done” volunteer activities and includes more than our customers. It is core to our commitment to financial literacy. We believe that when people have access to financial knowledge, they are more confident, can make better decisions and achieve better outcomes in their lives and the lives of their families.

We also believe in collaborating with best in class non-profits to make a difference for school-age children in the areas of education and financial literacy. Our relationship with Invest in Girls (IIG) through the Council for Economic Education (CEE), provides an opportunity to impact the future for young women both in careers in financial services and personal finances.

According to the Girl Scouts Research Institute, only 12 percent of girls feel comfortable making financial decisions making IIG’s mission to create the first generation of financially literate women and increase the numbers of women in finance critical.

Invest in Girls students visiting the Fidelity Investments offices on an industry trip.

Fidelity has been a long-time supporter and partner of the efforts to tackle the gender gap in financial literacy and the financial services industry, partnering with IIG in the Boston area since the group’s inception. In 2019 Fidelity joined CEE to introduce IIG to high school girls in Westlake, TX by hosting one day of a week-long summer camp focused on financial literacy and careers in finance.

Girls like Keyona Duncan. “I have never been a big fan of mathematics, but IIG changed that,” said Keyona. “What caught my interest the most, was actually interest. I learned that money could add upon itself—which is a good thing if you hold your money in a savings account long enough.”

Now a student at Quincy College, Keyona credits her participation in IIG with not only influencing her decision to major in accounting, but also impacting her confidence as a leader. “The fact that IIG was just for girls and taught by a woman made it a very comfortable learning environment for me. I don’t feel like I have to hold back as a female, because I’m in control of what I want to happen to me.”

The Invest in Girls program also connects Fidelity employees to meaningful volunteer opportunities in the areas of education and financial literacy.

Madeleine Mitchell volunteers throughout the school year sharing personal finance lessons and career insights, and as a member of Fidelity’s employee resource group, WLG – Women’s Leadership Group – is passionate about empowering women and girls to take control of their personal finances.

“Promoting financial literacy for women and introducing women to careers in financial services are extremely important and personal for me,” said Madeleine, director of fixed income trading and infrastructure products. “Many young women have the skills needed to excel in financial services but are not drawn to the profession because they think they won’t ‘fit in’ – a classic case of the imposter syndrome. I was one of these women in college, and it was only when I was introduced to women in financial services who would come to serve as role models for me that I started to see a path for myself in the industry. I’m passionate about helping other girls to have this same experience.”

Like Madeleine and CEE, Fidelity believes that every girl should feel financially empowered and changing the way girls think about money and careers in financial services is key in creating lasting change for the next generation. That’s why Fidelity is pleased to continue our partnership with CEE to identify additional regions to expand the IIG program.

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Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC , 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917 Council for Economic Education is not affiliated with Fidelity Brokerage Services, member NYSE, SIPC or its affiliates.
Invest in Girls is not affiliated with Fidelity Brokerage Services, member NYSE, SIPC or its affiliates.

The post Fidelity’s partnership with Invest in Girls is changing lives appeared first on Council for Economic Education.

POSTED: October 28, 2019 | BY: brendan

Dr. Margaret Brooks Wins 2019 Leavey Award for Teaching BSU Economics of Innovation Course


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Dr. Margaret Brooks, a professor of economics at Bridgewater State University (BSU), was recently named one of eight recipients of the 2019 Leavey Awards for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education.

Dr. Brooks, who is President of RI Council for Economic Education and serves as director of BSU’s Center for Economic Education and its Office of Financial Literacy Initiatives, was honored for developing and teaching her “Economics of Innovation” course at BSU.

The Leavey Awards, administered by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation and Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, were created in 1977 to reward educators across the country who develop innovative ways of teaching students about the free enterprise system and entrepreneurship. Each winner received a $7,500 award.

In four decades, more than 600 teachers – from elementary school to college level – have received over $4 million in prize money. Previous Massachusetts Leavey Award recipients include Julie Giglia, Whitman-Hanson High (Leavey Class of 2018) and Jacqueline Prester, Mansfield High (Leavey Class of 2015).

Dr. Brooks’ “Economics of Innovation” course examined the impact of innovation on individuals, businesses, markets, and global economies. Students looked at new financial products and technology; the robot revolution in homes and workplaces; transportation advances such as drones and self-driving cars; and the growing impact of electronic devices on people’s daily lives. Students also developed their own entrepreneurial projects and presented them – all online using Flipgrid — for peer review in a Shark Tank-style competition.

Dr. Brooks, who was recently recognized by the Providence Business News at its 2019 Business Women Awards, advocates for financial literacy both on campus and in the region through her leadership as President of both the Rhode Island Council for Economic Education and the Rhode Island Jump$tart Coalition since 2014.

“I am deeply honored to receive the 2019 Leavey Award, along with seven other innovative K-16 business educators from across the country. I believe entrepreneurship and innovation are key to building and sustaining a successful economy. I am very impressed by the creative ideas and business plans developed by my BSU Economics of Innovation students. I truly hope many will follow through on their innovative projects to bring about a better future for themselves, their communities, and their world.”

This year’s Leavey Award recipients were honored at a dinner and awards ceremony on Thursday, July 18 on the campus of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. While on campus, Dr. Brooks and the other Leavey Award recipients made presentations about their award-winning programs to business educators who were participating in a graduate seminar entitled “Innovative Entrepreneurs, Dynamic Economy.”

See the 2019 Leavey Awards video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nIIftZOnrA

For more information, contact Carolyn Santangelo, senior director of chapter and partner relations, at 610-933-8825, ext. 234, or csantangelo@ffvf.org.

POSTED: August 11, 2019 | BY: Margaret Brooks

Announcing the 2019 RI Personal Finance Challenge and RI EconChallenge Results

The 2019 RI Personal Finance Challenge and RI EconChallenge results are in! More than 800 high school and middle school students from across the state participated in online competitions that tested their knowledge of key economic and financial concepts. Here are this year’s winners:

2019 RI Personal Finance Challenge

High School Division
•    1st Place: East Greenwich High School, Teacher: Patricia Page
•    2nd Place tie:
Cranston West High School, Teacher: Richard Abruzzini
North Kingstown High School, Teacher: Richard Garland
•    3rd Place: Dr. Jorge Alvarez High School, Teacher: Stephen Rocco
•    4th Place: Scituate High School, Teacher: Dennis Ballou

Middle School Division
•    1st Place: Archie R. Cole Middle School, Teacher: Ellise Wolff
•    2nd Place: Wickford Middle School, Teacher: Robert O’Neil
•    3rd Place: Davisville Middle School, Teacher: Eileen Murray
•    4th Place: Gilbert Stuart Middle School, Teacher: Nikhol Bentley

2019 RI EconChallenge

Adam Smith Division (Advanced Economics)
•    1st Place Tie:
Scituate High School, Teacher: Dennis Ballou
Smithfield High School, Teacher: Erica Valentine
•    2nd Place: West Warwick High School, Teacher: Marc LeBlanc
•    3rd Place: LaSalle Academy, Teacher: Michael McParlin

David Ricardo Division (Economics)
•    1st Place: North Kingstown High School, Teacher: Richard Garland
•    2nd Place: Johnston High School, Teacher: Debra Smyth
•    3rd Place: William E. Tolman High School, Teacher: Robert D’Arezzo

Milton Friedman Division (Middle School)
•    1st Place: Gilbert Stuart Middle School, Teacher: Nikhol Bentley
•    2nd Place: Archie R. Cole Middle School, Teacher: Ellise Wolff

East Greenwich High will represent RI in the Personal Finance Nationals, which will be held at the University of Nebraska Lincoln on May 10, 2019. Student team members are Matthew Tactacan (captain), Margaret Thompson, Jack Gecawich, and Kelsa Dator.

Scituate High School will represent RI in the Adam Smith division of the Econ Challenge National Semi-Finals on April 24, 2019. Student team members are Tristen Owens, Russell Gaston, Cameron Tuttle, and Alex DiCenso.

North Kingstown High School will represent RI in the David Ricardo division of the Econ Challenge National Semi-Finals on April 24, 2019. Student team members are Nathan Peters, Brandon Talbot, Conal Willkie, and Luke Gentile.

The 2019 RI Personal Finance Challenge and RI EconChallenge were organized by RI Jump$tart and RI Council for Economic Education, two non-profit organizations that are dedicated to supporting K–12 economic and financial education in the state and region.

“It’s important for all RI students to become financially literate while they are in school, said state test administrator Dr. Margaret Brooks, who is the president of RI Jump$tart and RI Council for Economic Education. “Participating in the Challenges generates interest and excitement among students for mastering economic and financial literacy concepts, which in turn positions students for lifelong success.”

Fidelity Investments sponsored the RI Personal Finance Challenge, and CFA Society Providence sponsored the RI EconChallenge. Their generous support provided all RI middle and high school students with the valuable opportunity to participate in the Challenges at no cost to themselves or their schools.

POSTED: April 16, 2019 | BY: Margaret Brooks

12th Annual Visionary Awards a Success!

By Daniel Thompson

0185 20171025 SP CEE 12th Annual Visionary Awards a Success!

Last Wednesday, the Council for Economic Education (CEE) held its 12th Annual Visionary Awards dinner at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. During the course of the evening, we showcased our mission, demonstrated our impact, and honored leaders who promote economic and financial literacy to create a better-informed society. Emceed by CNBC’s Senior Economics Reporter, Steve Liesman, the dinner was filled with meaningful discussion about the state of economic and financial literacy education in our country.

The three Visionary Awards recipients are: Gregory Mankiw, Robert M. Beren Professor of Economics at Harvard University; Michael A. Peterson, President and CEO of Peter G. Peterson Foundation; and Daniel H. Schulman, President and CEO of PayPal. The honorees engaged in a thought-provoking “fire-side chat”, where they discussed several economic and financial literacy issues including the future of electronic commerce, our national debt, and the debt that many families currently find themselves in.

0156 20171025 SP CEE 12th Annual Visionary Awards a Success!

CEE also honored three exemplary New York Metropolitan area teachers with the Alfred P. Sloan Teaching Champion Awards for their excellence in economic education. These teachers continually deliver this important content in and out of their classrooms and achieve results. This year’s winning teachers are: Doug Kramer, 12th Grade Economics, AP Economics, World History, and Government at Herricks High School; Theodore Opderbeck, 10-12th Grade AP Economics, Honors Economics, Principles of Economics and Personal Finance, US History, Criminal Procedure, and Introduction to Law at Waldwick High School; and Gabriel Tanglao, 10-11th Grade AP US History, and US History I Honors at Bergen County Technical Schools, Teterboro Campus.

0101 20171025 SP CEE 12th Annual Visionary Awards a Success!

The evening was a great success raising close to $600,000. Funding supports our mission, helping us to continue on the path of our digital transformation with EconEdLink; expand our reach through our National Center for Financial and Economic Education and Master Teacher Program; and support our National Economics Challenge, Personal Finance Challenge, K-5 Afterschool Program, and so many other things.

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The post 12th Annual Visionary Awards a Success! appeared first on Council for Economic Education.

POSTED: October 30, 2017 | BY: brendan

Hands on Banking: Tools You Can Use

By Daniel Thompson

hands on banking Hands on Banking: Tools You Can Use

Wells Fargo is the Presenting Sponsor of the Council for Economic Education’s 56th Annual Financial Literacy and Economic Education Conference.

As the presenting sponsor, Wells Fargo is committed to financial education. Since 2003, thousands of Wells Fargo team members have reached nearly 4 million people through financial education outreach efforts.

One way that Wells Fargo demonstrates its commitment to financial education is through its Hands on Banking® program. Hands on Banking provides specialized resources for both individual and classroom learning. This program offers relevant and engaging content on banking, budgeting, managing credit, investing, and more. There are several resources available to explore these financial topics, including Zing, a friendly and curious green alien that helps students in grades 4 through 5 or self-paced modules for high school students.

Please visit the Hands on Banking exhibit during the conference to learn more.

The post Hands on Banking: Tools You Can Use appeared first on Council for Economic Education.

POSTED: October 3, 2017 | BY: brendan