Teachers in Texas got notice in the past week of the financial literacy standards the State Board of Education approved over the summer. There is a push on nationally to add these standards in every state. The Department of the Treasury has been working to push such standards and create materials for teachers to use in classrooms.
Most Texas school districts were working on such a curriculum, I think — every one I checked was, if that’s any indication.
Odd side note: The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) provided meetings with the Department of the Treasury and guidance for state school boards doing what Texas did — but the Texas SBOE dropped out of that organization over an anti-bullying campaign also promulgated by NASBE. The problem was that NASBE’s program said homosexual kids should not be bullied, and the Texas board members disagreed. Yes, I know, there is no rational way to defend that decision, but there you go.
I don’t think the financial literacy standards suffered much from not having the input from NASBE and Treasury. Bullying standards are a separate issue.
Here’s the note from the Texas Education Agency:
At the July 2006 meeting, the State Board of Education approved for second reading and final adoption amendments to 19 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 74 that relate to the required Economics TEKS requirement for high school graduation. This section of Chapter 74 became effective on August 8, 2006. You can access this document directly at: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/sboe/schedule/0706/whole/attachment/6_rule_ch74_a2.pdf
§74.34 Additional Requirements for Economics Classes, Grades 9-12
(a) A school district and an open enrollment charter school shall incorporate instruction in personal financial literacy into any course meeting a requirement for an economics credit, using the materials approved by the State Board of Education for this purpose in accordance with the Texas Education Code, § 28.0021.
(b) A school district may add elements at its discretion but must include the following areas of instruction:
(1) understanding interest and avoiding and eliminating credit card debt;
(2) understanding the rights and responsibilities of renting or buying a home;
(3) managing money make the transition from renting a home to home ownership;
(4) starting a small business;
(5) being a prudent investor in the stock market and using other investment options;
(6) beginning a savings program and planning for retirement;
(8) the types of bank accounts available to consumers and the benefits of maintaining a bank account;
(9) balancing a checkbook;
(10) the types of loans available to consumers and becoming a low-risk borrower;
(11) understanding insurance; and
(12) charitable giving.
(c) A school district or open-enrollment charter school may apply to the commissioner of education for an extension in complying with the requirements of this section for the 2006-2007 school year.
These additional requirements in Economics also apply to dual credit and AP courses.
Please visit http://www.tea.state.tx.us/social/pfl for information regarding personal financial literacy materials.
Michelle Davidson Ungurait
Director of Social Studies
Texas Education Agency