Jump $tart! Financial Smarts For Students
As the nation’s leading advocate for youth financial literacy, the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy conducted the first national educator conference for K-12 teachers devoted specifically to personal finance education. This conference, generously underwritten by Experian and offered in partnership with the National Education Association, offered classroom educators an opportunity to see, explore and try educational resources that can be integrated immediately into current lesson plans; attend informative workshops under three different strands-policy, curriculum/content, and personal development; and network with leaders from both finance and education.
My job as an ambassador to ambassador to Alabama, sponsored by the NEA, was to network with other educators attending, and attend special NEA sponsored meetings during the conference in Washington D.C. on November 6-8. After the conference, my job is to publicize and help inform other teachers about financial literacy information, suggested curriculum, and contact with Jump$tart to be shared via AEA through workshops and suggested web sites.
While attending the conference, I found out about ways that the curriculum could be added into any school’s curriculum. Some ways are through business classes, social science classes, or economics in high schools. In the middle and elementary schools the curriculum could by added to math, exploratory, social studies, or character education.
At the present time, Alabama does not have personal finance in any of our required standards. However, it is believed to be coming in the near future and already is in several states’ standards. Alabama Education Association’s role will be in the formative stages, so that we can help to regulate its integration into our curriculum or add to our existing standards.
According to Sheila Bair, Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, we as educators should “Give adults of tomorrow the skills needed to make financial decisions.” Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education, said, “Too few students have the basic skills they need to compete for certain jobs or to compare costs on student loan options. Too many students run blindly into burdensome credit card debt and give away too much of their paychecks in interest and fees…It is critical that we equip all Americans with the knowledge and skills they need to make the right financial decisions when it matters most.” We ask the question, “If we do not teach them, who will?”
I encourage you to find some way to work this curriculum into your school’s curriculum and look for ways to teach it as you explore some of the attached web sites. In addition, AEA will keep you informed and sponsor workshops on this very important opportunity to get our students ready to make financial decisions in our increasingly complex 21st century economy.
Debbie Landers-Scott, District 4 Board