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Economic Education/Financial Literacy

Economic education/financial literacy is the integration of various factors relating to personal financial management including: understanding financial institutions; using money; learning to manage personal assets and liabilities; creating budgets; and any other factors that may assist an individual in this commonwealth to be financially responsible.

Every educator, regardless of grade level or content area, can help prepare our young people to navigate the increasingly complex financial marketplace and make informed decisions about their money. The Pennsylvania Department of Education is committed to having every student in Pennsylvania graduate as an active and engaged citizen with knowledge and skills to be gainfully employed and make intelligent financial decisions for the future of Pennsylvania and the nation. Current academic standards encourage integration of financial education into the existing curricula.

Economic Education/Financial Literacy Academic Standards

Pennsylvania Academic Standards describe what students should know and be able to do at specific points in time. The standards increase in complexity and sophistication as students' progress through school. The academic standards serve as a framework from which districts develop their specific curriculum.

The Pennsylvania Academic Standards are part of the Standards Aligned System (SAS). SAS is the Pennsylvania Department of Education's digital curriculum and instruction resource site. SAS is comprised of six distinct elements which provide a common framework for continuous student, teacher, and school and district growth. The elements are Standards, Assessment, Curriculum Framework, Instruction, Materials and Resources, and Safe and Supportive Schools.

Available on SAS are resources for teaching and developing high quality economic education/financial literacy programs. The Pennsylvania Academic Standards, which can be found on SAS, that relate to economic education/financial literacy are:


Certification and Staffing Policy Guidelines (CSPG) that pertain to economic education/financial literacy certification, and course assignment include: CSPG 33 - Business, Computer and Information Technology; CSPG 35 - Citizenship Education; CSPG 44 - Family and Consumer Sciences; CSPG 49 - Marketing/Distributive Education; CSPG 50 - Mathematics; and CSPG 59 - Social Studies.

Questions regarding certification requirements should be directed to the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality.

Making Cents of Financial Literacy and Economic Education

Making Cents of Financial Literacy and Economic Education is an e-blast newsletter. Each issue is designed with current topics and trends for the educator interested in financial literacy, personal finance education, and economic education. To have Making Cents of Financial Literacy and Economic Education delivered to your inbox please register in the Financial Education Learning Community on the Standards Aligned System.

Resources for Educators

Your Money's Best Friend: is a website from the Pennsylvania Department of Banking for educators and consumers about financial education topics. The Resources for Educators section, contains links to curriculum, materials and activities which give guidance and tools to help classroom teachers integrate personal finance into their daily lesson plans.

National Endowment for Financial Education: (NEFE) provides objective and credible information through its programs and partnerships. The site continually evolves with the changing financial climate, technological advancements, and societal trends to meet consumers' shifting needs. All resources and teaching materials are provided at no cost.

Take Charge Today: is part of The University of Arizona's Take Charge America Institute for Consumer Financial Education and Research which provides educators with quality, ready-to-teach activity-based lesson plans at no cost to educators.

Financial Education Biennial Report

In 2010, the General Assembly of Pennsylvania passed Act 104 which charged the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities to provide resource information on economics, economic education and personal financial literacy to educators, public and private schools, and organizations.

Act 104 of 2010 requires both departments to generate a joint report to the governor and the general assembly on the status of economic education and personal financial literacy programs in the commonwealth. The report Economic and Personal Finance Education in Pennsylvania outlines economic education and financial literacy programs and achievements, new initiatives and recommendations for future program needs.

The Task Force for Economic Education and Financial Literacy

Act 104, passed by the General Assembly in 2010, created the Task Force for Economic Education and Financial Literacy consisting of nine members from various backgrounds associated with finance and education. For two years the task force examined trends and needs in K-12 economic education and personal financial literacy, and considered funds to support these activities.

The task force was tasked with making recommendations to the governor and the general assembly regarding legislative or regulatory changes to improve economic education/financial literacy in the commonwealth.

The secretaries of the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities jointly submitted the Report and Recommendations: Pennsylvania Task Force on Economic Education and Personal Financial Literacy in January of 2013.