The state of K–12 economic and financial education in the US
About Survey of the States
Every two years, the Council for Economic Education (CEE) conducts a comprehensive look into the state of K-12 economic and financial education in the United States, collecting data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The biennial Survey of the States serves as an important benchmark for our progress, revealing both how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go. There has been notable progress since the first survey was published in 1998, but in recent years there has been only modest improvement.
2018 Survey of the States: Economic and Personal Finance Education in Our Nation’s Schools
The 2018 Survey of the States reflects no growth in personal finance education in recent years and little improvement in economic education.
2018 Key Findings
- Since 2016, no additional states have added personal finance to their K-12 standards or requirements.
- Only 1/3 of states require their students to graduate having taken a personal finance class.
- Rhetoric is not meeting action: while policy makers and the public regularly call for us to do better as a nation, those calls are not translating into real legislative change.
- “If it’s not tested it’s not taught”, and a few states are ensuring that robust testing accompanies classroom instruction – only 16 states for economics and a mere 7 for personal finance.
Take Action Today
Research shows that requirements are the main driver of economics and personal finance being taught in schools. Here are some ways that you can take action to make sure that all of our students – not just those living in states with strong financial education mandates – are equipped with the economic understanding and critical-thinking skills necessary to make responsible decisions for their financial futures.
- Access lesson plans, interactive tools, and other classroom resources
- Find resources and in-person professional development opportunities in your state
- Participate in the National Economics Challenge
- Assess your students’ economic and financial literacy using CEE’s Online Assessment Center
- Get help from CEE via our advocacy toolkit
- Encourage your district or state to adopt comprehensive standards in economics and personal finance
- Engage your Chief State School Officer by exposing the problem and the solution
- Connect with your state board of education officials
- Learn about programs in place in your state and find schools ready to implement a new program
Previous Survey of the States:
For media inquiries about the 2018 Survey of the States study, please contact: Chris Caltabiano, Chief Program Officer, 212-730-1109.