Economic and entrepreneurship educators from the University of Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University, the Booth Entrepreneurship Center at Morehead State University, Murray State University, and Northern Kentucky University have formed the Coalition for Financial Literacy in the Commonwealth to enhance the teaching of personal finance, entrepreneurship, and economics throughout Kentucky.
This move is in response to House Bill 132, passed in the 2018 Kentucky General Assembly session, requiring Kentucky public high school students to complete a financial literacy course in order to graduate. The new law directs the Kentucky Board of Education to establish academic standards for the financial literacy course and to develop curricula, materials, and guidelines for schools to use in teaching financial literacy.
Through their departments and the economic education and entrepreneurship centers at their respective universities, coalition members have provided K-12 teachers with training and resources in this content area for decades. By pooling their expertise and resources, the coalition aims to provide consistent, high-quality support and promote sustainability through the use of proven programs.
Working with partners in the private and public sector, the coalition will help Kentucky teachers and students work toward financial literacy.
The coalition’s first professional development event for K-12 teachers will take place June 19 at Keeneland in Lexington. The conference, “Off and Running! Cultivating Creative Thinkers,” is presented in partnership with the office of State Treasurer Allison Ball, the Federal Reserve Bank, and several business sponsors. K-12 teachers who attend will gain resources and teaching methods they can use in creative and engaging ways to teach real-world applications. Treasurer Ball will be speaking on “Financial Empowerment in Kentucky,” and her chief of staff, OJ Oleka, will be introducing teachers to the treasurer’s new Financial Empowerment database.
The coalition’s efforts will help teachers bridge the gap between the benefit of teaching financial literacy and the lack of funding for teaching resources, notes Becky Mullins, a teacher from Belfry High School in Pike County.
“Being financially literate is vital to the success of an individual as well as to the community,” Mullins said. “The collaborative work of EKU, UK, NKU, Murray State, and Morehead will be a valuable professional development opportunity. I have been fortunate as a teacher to participate in professional development conferences that provided not only valuable training and materials, but the opportunity to collaborate with others in my field who teach financial literacy. With state professional development funds being cut this year, teachers very much appreciate these institutions for providing such a worthwhile, free resource to educators.”
For further information about the Coalition for Financial Literacy in the Commonwealth, contact any of the partners – Cynthia Harter at Eastern Kentucky University, Janet Ratliff at Morehead State University, Abdullah Al Bahrani at Northern Kentucky University, and Mary Ann Vimont at the University of Kentucky.