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RIDE Publishes New Financial Literacy Resources for Schools

 

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) in conjunction with the General Treasurer’s Office today announced new resources to help schools expand students' access to financial literacy instruction. The new financial literacy webpage includes comprehensive resources to support Rhode Island’s local education agencies in meeting the requirements of the financial literacy law (RIGL-16-22-13) Governor Dan McKee signed last year.

Following the law’s passage, the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education adopted updated national financial literacy standards in December. This law also mandates that each local education agency (LEA) offer a financial literacy course aligned with the state standards. Beginning with the graduating class of 2024, all students must demonstrate proficiency in financial literacy prior to graduating high school.

“I am proud to have signed into law a financial literacy requirement for graduating high schoolers,” said Governor Dan McKee. “Our administration is dedicated to doing whatever is necessary to make sure every young person has the ability to understand finance. I’m excited to kick off the 2022-2023 school year with classes on financial literacy at every public high school in Rhode Island.”

“Financial education in school leads to better financial outcomes later in life,” said Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner. “We took a big step forward last year by passing legislation to guarantee financial education for all Rhode Island students, and the resources being launched today will provide educators and students with the tools to deliver lessons for financial success.”

"It is vital that every student who passes through the Rhode Island school system graduates with all the skills they need to succeed as an adult, especially financial literacy” said Education Council Chair Patti DiCenso. “These new resources will help educators deliver a world-class financial education to every high school student. We are deeply excited to see this new program launch, and will be closely monitoring to ensure that it meets both the requirements of the law and the expectations of our students and families.”

“The financial literacy legislation is meant to ensure that every Rhode Islander graduates high school with an understanding of how to manage their personal finances, a move that has the potential to break cycles of poverty, and make sure that all families can benefit from our economy,” said Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. “We are proud to be a part of this important work and are grateful for our community’s support in ensuring access to high-quality financial literacy materials. We encourage districts to take full advantage of these new resources.”

The RIDE website now includes the recently adopted national Financial Literacy standards, a list of curriculum and professional learning resources, a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document, and a list of Rhode Island-based contacts, all sourced through financial literacy ambassadors, an external working group of experts that has been meeting, facilitated by RIDE, since last summer.

Of particular note, in collaboration with CFA Providence, Brown University and Edapt, Rhode Island is testing a first of its kind assessment tool aimed at measuring financial proficiency. This assessment tool is geared toward measuring proficiency while providing educators and students real time feedback, topics mastered and topics to study next.

“Our children go to school so that they can be prepared for life as an independent adult yet, they were missing a crucial topic of teaching that will dictate the course of their entire lives – financial literacy,” said Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Sandra Cano (D-Dist. 8, Pawtucket). “Thankfully, after passing legislation last year which ensures that financial literacy is taught in our schools, students will now have access to the materials they need in order to become financially independent adults. This is especially true for our children who come from minority and immigrant households who may not have access to financial knowledge and literacy at home. I am excited to see this new program in action and I thank all the stakeholders who were instrumental in ensuring that our students leave school with a firm understanding of how our financial system works and what one needs to do in order to succeed in adult life.”

While this is the first time personal finance has been written into law in Rhode Island, it has been a topic of discussion at the state and national level for many years now. In 2021 alone, 36 financial literacy bills were introduced across 25 states. Rhode Island however, is an exemplar, since the law mandates proficiency before graduation and that high schools offer a stand alone course in every building. As schools across the state stand up new programs and make tweaks to already existing ones, Rhode Island continues to lead some of the most exciting work in the field of financial education. RIDE is currently seeking public input on its proposed Readiness-Based Graduation Requirements to Reimagine High School which prioritize financial literacy.

The new resources were developed by some of Rhode Island’s local leaders for financial literacy, through RIDE’s PrepareRI Ambassador program. PrepareRI Ambassadors are grassroots leaders in RI who leverage their expertise to advise RIDE in key projects to advance students’ college and career readiness. The Region 2 Comprehensive Center, led by WestEd, also supported the toolkit development.

To learn more about Financial Literacy in Rhode Island, please visit: www.ride.ri.gov/InstructionAssessment/FinancialLiteracy