NEFE, Council For Economic Education Frame Key Financial Education Needs Through Extensive Policy-Focused Convenings


DENVER—The National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®), in partnership with the Council for Economic Education (CEE), has published summaries outlining significant discussion takeaways from a series of high-impact, policy-focused convenings with industry stakeholders, advocates, practitioners and policymakers. The breakdown of key findings, now available on the NEFE website, will be the basis for addressing financial education access issues facing Americans today.

“Despite the hurdles of conducting these discussions in a virtual environment due to the pandemic, this still was a high priority for us to bring together thoughtful local, regional and national leaders to explore some of the most difficult challenges with financial education delivery and impact,” says Billy Hensley, Ph.D., president and CEO of NEFE. “Each of these events brought about unique stories and specific issues that will help us drive research and thought leadership, creating a foundation for some exciting next steps for our field.”

“We wanted to partner with NEFE to create a deeper understanding of the challenges in bringing financial education to students and take action to overcome them. For all states and all schools, it is essential that training, tools and curriculum for financial education are approachable and relevant and meet students where they are. Even states that don’t currently have a financial literacy requirement have the opportunity to take steps to change children’s lives," says Nan Morrison, CEE president and CEO.

Earlier this year, NEFE and CEE organized five virtual, policy-focused meetings to explore issues surrounding the state of financial education. Each event consisted of presentations from Hensley and Morrison, concentrated discussions and group brainstorming sessions. Experts and analysts reviewed the dialogue and debate to highlight common themes in each of the five convenings:

Some of the high-level concerns and recommendations raised at the convenings included:

  • Financial education content too often assumes a traditional four-year college is the logical “next step” for high school.
  • Access to financial institutions can be challenged by location, policies and trust.
  • Common values with flexible curriculum allow educators to shift messaging to resonate with marginalized students.

“Our goal for the national policy convenings is to encourage intentionality in the creation of financial education policies that reflect evidence-based strategies and address systemic inequalities.” says Brian Ford, NEFE chief of staff.

Christopher Caltabiano, CEE chief program officer, agrees. “Our ability to leverage state networks for event outreach ensured the events had an extraordinary level of diversity. Through our partnership with NEFE, we are able to elevate our daily work to impact policy.”

The policy-focused convenings are a proof-of-concept strategy supporting NEFE’s strategic shift toward an institute model that will better assist practitioners, advocates and policymakers. Other recent milestones include sunsetting NEFE’s financial education programs and hiring Beth Bean, Ph.D., as senior vice president of research and impact to spearhead NEFE’s organizational transition.

Read more on NEFE’s evolving strategy.

About CEE

CEE’s mission is to equip K-12 students with the tools and knowledge of personal finance and economics so that they can make better decisions for themselves, their families and their communities by providing resources and training to educators for over 70 years. Nearly 2/3 of the teachers they reach in person are in low- and moderate-income schools. For more information, visit

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