The Pennsylvania Task Force on Economic Education and Personal Financial Literacy Education, established by Act 104 of 2010, spent fourteen months studying research, best practices and trends in financial education in order to formulate recommendations on how to improve financial education in Pennsylvania's schools.
In researching the trends and needs in financial education, the Task Force found:
· Studies document there is growing support for teaching financial education in schools.
· Since the financial crisis, more states are adopting legislation that varies in the degree to which personal finance is taught and required for graduation.
· While many Pennsylvania high schools offer financial education, it is typically part of an elective course, and the personal finance content is often limited.
· Many states have developed their own K-12 academic standards for personal finance to provide a multi-grade approach to learning culminating with a capstone course at the high school level.
· There are a wide variety of free and low-cost curriculum materials from which schools can choose making the implementation of a financial education curriculum a no- to low-cost endeavor.
· Most teachers have not been trained to teach personal finance and would like more professional development to help them better understand the subject.
· More high school graduates entering college today are taking out student loans and acquiring substantial debt, yet most young people indicate they do not understand the student loan process or how to plan for college costs.
Current efforts to teach personal finance in Pennsylvania’s public schools today are fragmented and inconsistent depending on which of the 500 school districts a student attends. To ensure that every student receives the instruction they need to make informed decisions about saving, spending, investing and protecting their money, the Task Force makes the following recommendations to Governor Corbett and the Pennsylvania General Assembly:
Recommendation 1: Require every Pennsylvania high school student to complete a standalone capstone course on personal finance in order to graduate.
Recommendation 2: Adopt comprehensive, standalone Pennsylvania K-12 academic standards devoted to personal finance.
Recommendation 3: Provide dedicated funding to support high quality K-12 personal finance instruction and teacher training.
Recommendation 4: Develop a financial education instructional endorsement for secondary teachers in Pennsylvania and corresponding program guidelines for professional educator programs.
Click here to download the complete "Report and Recommendations: Pennsylvania Task Force on Economic Education and Personal Financial Literacy Education - January 2013."
Status Report by Departments of Education and Banking and Securities
Click here to download the companion biennial report by the Pennsylvania Departments of Education and Banking and Securities on the status of economic education and personal finance education in the commonwealth - April 2013.