Indiana Teacher Helping Teens Succeed in Financial Education

How the Economy Can't Phase Educators

Date: March 6, 2009

Contact: Paul Golden 303-224-3514, [email protected]

INDIANAPOLIS—As the state and nation face a gloomy economic outlook, hundreds of teachers in Indiana have hit the classroom to ensure their students will not have to learn about personal finance from the school of hard knocks.

“Indiana and America face critical economic challenges, challenges not seen in generations. We owe it to the next generation to prepare them, to teach them fundamental financial and life skills. The world they inherit will only grow more complex and challenging," says Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita in a public service announcement launching statewide today that promotes financial literacy for teenagers.

Rokita challenges parents, school administrators and teachers to band together to help improve the financial acumen of high school students in Indiana. The PSA was produced through a grant from the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions to support the Colorado-based National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) and its effort to place its High School Financial Planning Program® (HSFPP) in more Indiana high schools. The seven-unit personal finance course covers savings, investing and spending. It is available free of charge to any high school or home schooling group and currently is being taught in 35 percent of Indiana high schools.

More and more states are calling for financial literacy to be taught in schools, including Indiana, which is consistently high in national rankings for home foreclosures, personal debt and bankruptcy filings. Just last week, State Senator Teresa Lubbers (R) introduced a resolution urging the Indiana State Board of Education and the Indiana Department of Education to incorporate financial literacy skills into the K–12 school curriculum.

Indiana is making some inroads in educating teens about personal finances due to the support of teachers and school administrators. In 2008, Indiana Teen$ucceed trained more than 300 teachers to teach the HSFPP through 20 teacher trainings hosted by local credit unions and Junior Achievements across the state. This resulted in a surge in orders to more than 100 Indiana high schools. Indiana Teen$uccced was the joint effort of NEFE, the Purdue Cooperative Extension, the Indiana Credit Union League, Junior Achievement in Indiana, and the Indiana Department of Education, which provided a grant to create the program.

“Many Indiana schools voluntarily have embraced the NEFE program, but there is still much work to be done here,” noted John Parfrey, director of the HSFPP. “That’s why we believe Indiana will benefit from this public service campaign. We want to ensure that educators have access to the appropriate tools and that they can trust the information they are passing along to their students. This is an important step to giving our children the knowledge to create and sustain their own financial stability in adulthood,” he said.

The NEFE HSFPP is one of the nation's most widely used curricula that teaches teens how to manage their money. The curriculum, which in 2009 is celebrating a quarter century in existence, is being used in all 50 states and is completely noncommercial.

A nationwide evaluation of the program completed in 1998, and repeated in 2003, found that the HSFPP is highly effective in improving the personal finance knowledge, behavior and confidence of teens. Upon completing the curriculum, students reported an increase of 60 percent in their knowledge of key areas covered by the program. The evaluation also found that teenagers better understood financial behaviors and were more confident in making money management decisions.

Administrators, educators and parents can log on to www.indianasfuture.org to learn more and request free workbooks and instructors' manuals for Indiana classrooms; to partner with a local credit union, contact the Indiana Credit Union League at 800-285-5300.

NEFE offers the HSFPP in partnership with the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, USDA and Participating Land-Grant University Cooperative Extension Services (CSREES); the Credit Union National Association, Inc. (CUNA), and America’s Credit Unions; and JA Worldwide™ (Junior Achievement).

To view the PSA featuring Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita, visit www.youtube.com and search for “indianasfuture.org.”

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For an MP3 file for radio broadcast, please contact [email protected].

Contacts

  • Paul Golden

    Media Relations Director

    Direct: 303-224-3514
    Cell: 303-918-3620
    [email protected]

  • Patricia (Pat) Seaman

    Senior Director of Marketing and Communications

    Direct: 303-224-3538
    [email protected]