Program of Basic Education, State Learning Standards.
Washington's program of basic education establishes four goals for school districts pertaining to the opportunity for every student to develop the knowledge and skills essential for practicing certain academic skills and concepts. The fourth goal addresses "the importance of work and finance and how performance, effort, and decisions directly affect future career and educational opportunities."
In 2015 financial education learning standards developed by a national coalition for personal finance literacy were adopted in statute as the state's financial education learning standards. In 2016 the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), in accordance with its duty to develop state learning standards based on the four basic education goals, adopted financial education learning standards for public school students in all grades.
The OSPI, subject to consultation requirements with the Financial Education Public-Private Partnership (FEPPP), is required to make available to all school districts a list of materials that align with the financial education learning standards.
School districts must provide all students in grades nine through 12 with the opportunity to access the financial education learning standards. School districts also must publicize the availability of financial education opportunities to students and families, and they are encouraged to grant credit toward high school graduation requirements to students who successfully complete financial education courses.
The Financial Education Public-Private Partnership.
The 16-member FEPPP, which is comprised of legislators, representatives of the financial services sector, teachers, and others, is charged with determining the best methods of equipping students with the knowledge and skills they need to make critical decisions regarding their personal finances. In executing its charge, the FEPPP, subject to the available of funding, is directed to perform numerous duties, including:
Subject to the availability of public and private funds, the FEPPP is authorized to hire a staff member who resides in the OSPI for administrative purposes. Additional technical and logistical support for the FEPPP may be provided by the OSPI, the Department of Financial Institutions, the organizations composing the partnership, and other participants in the FEPPP.
Grant Program for Professional Development.
Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose, the FEPPP must establish a grant program to provide assistance to school districts for integrating financial literacy education into professional development for certificated staff. The OSPI, in coordination with the FEPPP, is authorized to adopt rules for the implementation of the grant program, and provisions establishing and governing the program expire August 1, 2026.
Beginning with the 2023-24 school year, one-year grants must be made available for each of three consecutive school years, and the grants must be funded at $7.50 per enrolled student in the school district, as determined by the annual average full-time equivalent enrollment reported to the OSPI. No school district may receive more than one grant from the grant program.
School districts seeking a grant must provide in their proposal that they will integrate financial literacy education into at least seven hours of their in-person professional development schedule for the school year for which the school district receives the grant.
The grants may be used by school districts for specified activities, including:
Additional Authorizations for the Financial Education Public-Private Partnership.
Governance provisions for the FEPPP are modified to permit the FEPPP to administer grant programs, including the proposed grant program or related programs established in the omnibus operating appropriations act. Subject to funding provisions, the FEPPP is also authorized to perform other tasks in support of financial literacy, including:
Adoption of Financial Education Instruction Goals.
Each school district, by March 1, 2023, must adopt one or more goals for expanding financial education instruction to students in their district. Examples of goals that school districts may adopt include:
The FEPPP, by September 1, 2022, must develop a nonexhaustive menu of model goals that school districts may consider when complying with the goal adoption requirements. The model goals must be published on the website of the OSPI by September 10, 2022.
The financial education goal adoption requirements apply also to charter schools and state-tribal education compact schools.
(In support) The idea of the bill is not to add another graduation requirement, but to have the state partner with districts so that they can weave financial literacy training into their professional development. The bill provides $1 million per year to support financial literacy efforts across the state.
The FEPPP is uniquely qualified to administer the proposed grant program. Students consistently indicate that financial education should be expanded. Washington residents lose billions of dollars each year due to financial illiteracy, and this bill will help. The FEPPP works with leaders in the financial literacy world.
Students want instruction in financial literacy and the curricula is inadequate, but this bill will help. Only one in 20 Washington high school students is able to take a personal finance course. This education cannot be limited to only students in certain zip codes. This bill will be a blueprint for other states to follow and is good for teachers, students, families, and the state economy.
(In support) None.