Financial Education State Learning Standards. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is required to develop state learning standards that identify the knowledge and skills all public school students need to know and be able to do. Learning standards are based on the student learning goals of basic education, as laid out in statute. OSPI is required to periodically revise the state learning standards, as needed.
In 2009, the Legislature directed OSPI to integrate financial education skills and content knowledge into the state learning standards.
Financial Education Public-Private Partnership. In 2015, the Legislature established the Financial Education Public-Private Partnership (FEPPP). FEPPP is comprised of members of the Legislature, representatives from the private for-profit and nonprofit financial services sector, the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, and OSPI, the State Treasurer, and teachers.
FEPPP has a variety of responsibilities, including, among others:
Educational Service Districts. Washington has nine regionally-based educational service districts (ESDs) that provide cooperative and informational services to local school districts. ESDs have been tasked with providing teachers' institutes, workshops for staff preparation, in-service training, and other trainings on a variety of topics, including school safety.
Educational Service Districts Financial Literacy Education Staffing. Beginning with the 2022-23 school year, ESDs must have staff positions solely dedicated to student financial literacy, subject to appropriation. Staff in these positions shall:
ESD staff positions shall be full-time, or the equivalent, and allocated by geographic area as follows:
The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction Financial Literacy Education Professional Development Grant Program. OSPI must establish a grant program for integrating financial literacy education into PD for certificated staff, subject to appropriation.
OSPI must coordinate with financial literacy education ESD staff when creating or selecting PD curricula, developing grant criteria, selecting applicants, and facilitating grants.
For a school district to qualify for a grant, the grant proposal must provide that the grantee integrate financial literacy education into at least seven hours of its current in-person PD schedule over the course of the entire school year for which the district receives the grant. Grants must be allocated at $10 per enrolled student and must be made available for the 2023-24, 2024-25, and 2025-26 school years.
Additional activities permitted for the use of the grants include, but are not limited to:
PRO: This would be the largest investment in state financial literacy. The grant program is voluntary and would allow the districts who want to integrate financial literacy into their professional development. Many students lack financial knowledge that they need in order to be prepared when they graduate. Students are vocal about their desire to have more financial education in their education. Parents, teachers, and others are also asking for greater investments in financial education. Financial literacy will be used by every single student. Students who have received financial education speak about its benefits. Elementary students as well have been engaged and enjoy learning about personal finances.
OTHER: There should be a stronger emphasis on the work that FEPPP does, and they should have a more prominent role in directing financial literacy education going forward.