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 progress in K-12 economic and financial education, revealing both how far we’ve come as a country and how far we still have to go.
- Economic education is at risk – The last decade saw almost no change in the state-level economics education landscape and backtracking at the federal level
- In 2011, 22 states required economics for graduation; in 2022 that number has only risen to 25
- Legislation that would remove economics requirements has been proposed in states including Georgia and South Carolina
- Fewer states are requiring students to be tested in economics in 2022 than in 2011
- In 2019, the National Assessment Governing Board decided to remove the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in economics from its assessment schedule
- Personal finance education is making slow but steady increases
- Since the last edition of the State of the States was published, two additional states have instituted a requirement for students to take a course on personal finance – now 23 states have this requirement.
- This shows steady growth from the seven states with requirements in 2000
- There also has been progress in establishing dedicated courses in personal finance rather than including it in other coursework – there are now 9 states with dedicated courses while there were only 6 in 2020.
- Equity of access remains an issue
- There is still work to be done to ensure that that teaching—and the resources that support that teaching—reflects the wide variety of students’ cultural backgrounds, socioeconomic situations, and life goals.
- When funding varies among districts, so does the quality and effectiveness of financial education, creating inherent inequities throughout the state.
- Funded and intentional statewide approaches can not only make a difference in individual lives but can help move the “equity needle” for under-resourced communities.
KEY STATE SPOTLIGHTS
The last two years have seen progress in several states and steps backward in others.
TAKE ACTION TODAY!
Research shows that requirements are the main driver of economics and personal finance being taught in schools. You can join us in taking action to make sure that all of our students – not just those living in states with strong financial education mandates – are equipped with the tools to make better decisions for themselves, their families, and their communities. CEE’s advocacy toolkit includes resources for students, teachers, and other community members to actively advocate for better policies at the state and local level that ensure access to quality economic and personal finance for all students.
CEE is taking action in response to the findings from the Survey of the States. In partnership with Visa, we have created FinEd50, an initiative that advocates for positive change. Please visit FinEd50.com for more information on this initiative.
Research shows that requirements are the main driver of economics and personal finance being taught in schools. 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 tools to make better decisions for themselves, their families, and their communities. Here’s what you can do:
• Access FREE classroom resources at EconEdLink
• Find in-person professional development opportunities in your state
• Participate in the National Economics Challenge or the National Personal Finance Challenge
• Assess your students’ economic and financial literacy using CEE’s Online Assessment Center
Parents and community leaders
• Use CEE’s advocacy toolkit to encourage your school, district, or state to adopt comprehensive standards in economics and personal finance.
For media inquiries about the Survey of the States study, please contact: Kate Alexander, firstname.lastname@example.org, 201-638-3946