NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee ranks top in the nation in financial literacy education according to research done by the Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College in Burlington Vermont. The Center, which is a partnership among financial institutions, nonprofit organizations and government agencies to promote financial literacy, recently released a report ranking states efforts to increase the financial capabilities of students.
Tennessee was one of only 7 states receiving the top grade “A.”
“I am very pleased that we have received this recognition,” said Senator Doug Overbey (R-Maryville), who has led legislative efforts to improve financial literacy in the Tennessee General Assembly over the past several years. “We have worked very hard to make inroads to address our state’s high bankruptcy rate and help put the next generation of Tennesseans on better financial footing. It is nice to see other states are now modeling our efforts.”
The Center said Tennessee’s high grade was based on the state’s inclusion of personal finance topics in K-12 instructional guidelines, the requirement for financial literacy instruction as a prerequisite to high school graduation, implementation of assessment tests on financial literacy topics, a requirement students must take one semester course requirement in personal finance before graduation and the creation of the Financial Literacy Commission.
Overbey sponsored legislation in 2006 that established a financial literacy curriculum as a means to satisfy a high school credit requirement and has since continued his efforts to promote financial literacy in middle and elementary grades in Tennessee. In 2010, he co-sponsored a law promoted by State Treasurer David Lillard to create an 11-member Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission (TNFLC) to establish a state clearinghouse of information, resources, and assistance for improving financial literacy. In 2011, he sponsored the law requiring the State Board of Education, in consultation with the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission, to develop guidelines to strengthen personal finance standards and require that certain financial literacy concepts are included as part of the testing standards for social studies.
“The goal of the curriculum is to teach children how to make sound decisions about their financial choices,” added Overbey. “In the long term, Tennessee should benefit, but more importantly the changes implemented over the past several years will have a positive effect on the lives of these individual students and their families for decades to come.”
For more information about teacher training opportunities or other state financial literacy efforts go to: http://treasury.tn.gov/FinLit/.