Economic educators at Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University, Murray State University, Northern Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky have formed the Coalition for Financial Literacy in the Commonwealth (CFLC) in order to collaborate and combine resources for the teaching of personal finance, entrepreneurship and economics throughout Kentucky.
The move is in response to Kentucky House Bill 132, passed earlier this year. The regulation adds a financial literacy course as a high school graduation requirement and directs the Kentucky Board of Education to establish academic standards for the course and to develop curricula, materials and guidelines that may be used by schools.
The CFLC will be able to fill the immediate need for training and resources. Faculty members, working through their respective departments and centers for economic education, have provided K-12 teachers with training and resources in this content area for decades.
“Pooling our expertise and resources through the Coalition will help us provide consistent, high-quality support and promote sustainability through the use of proven programs,” said Dr. Cynthia Harter, director of the EKU Center for Economic Education. “Requiring a financial literacy class for high school graduation provides a framework through which our students can learn to make more informed choices in life. This can only benefit the Commonwealth in the long run.”
The first professional development event for K-12 teachers conducted by the Coalition for Financial Literacy in the Commonwealth will be “Off and Running! Cultivating Creative Thinkers” on June 19 at Keeneland in Lexington. The CFLC is partnering with the office of State Treasurer Allison Ball, the Louisville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and several business sponsors to offer a centralized conference to provide K-12 teachers with resources and methods they can take into their classrooms and integrate into various content areas. The event will focus on creative and engaging ways to teach real-world applications. Ball will speak on “Financial Empowerment in Kentucky,” and her chief of staff, OJ Oleka, will introduce teachers to the treasurer’s new financial empowerment database.
"Being financially literate is vital to the success of an individual as well as to their community,” said Becky Mullins, a teacher at Belfry High School in Pike County. “The opportunity to provide a financial literacy course to students is a great benefit, although having to provide the curriculum and materials can be challenging at times because of lack of funding. I have been fortunate as a teacher to participate in professional development events that were sponsored by EKU and others in past years. These conferences have provided not only valuable training and materials, but the opportunity to collaborate with others in my field who teach financial literacy. I am looking forward to the upcoming Off and Running workshop at Keeneland.
“The collaborative work of EKU and the other universities will be a valuable professional development opportunity,” she continued. “With professional development funds being cut, it is very much appreciated for these institutions to provide such a worthwhile resource free to educators. Each workshop I have attended in the past has been outstanding. I can’t wait to see what is in store this year!"
For more information about the Coalition for Financial Literacy in the Commonwealth, contact any of the partners: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.