BRIDGEPORT – Some 20 counselors and teachers from across the state met recently to discuss implementation of personal finance into everyday curriculum, the crux of a new program spearheaded by State Treasurer John Perdue and the State Department of Education.
“We’re in the beginning process of designing, in layman’s terms, k-12 lesson plans,” said financial education Deputy Treasurer Charles Bockway. “We’re hoping to work those into the state’s formal system of curriculum.”
Bockway said Treasurer’s Office staff and Department of Education specialists joined teachers and counselors in the discussion. Also on hand were David Garcia of The Hartford, which manages the state’s SMART529 college savings plan and members of the auditor’s office staff.
Lynn Bennett of Bridgeport is the consultant on the NetWorth project. The select group of teachers left Saturday’s event with an understanding of the task that lay before them – developing about 30 “instructional guides.”
Next summer, Bennett and others will train 110 teachers, two from each county. Those counties will be identified as pilot sites. Later, students will be both pre- and post-tested to determine if the program is working.
Two grants, each worth about $200, will pay for the testing. They are from the National Council on Economic Education and Citigroup.
The guides are designed so teachers may incorporate financial concepts into already existing subjects. Take, for instance, the subject of slope in geometry – an existing corollary might be a rising stock chart.
“We’re incorporating personal finance education into the core curriculum of 21st century learning,” Bennett said. “They will apply the skills in a real world situation.”
Also part of the plan is something called NetWorth Links. This consists of school guidance counselors providing at least four financespecific lessons a year to each child in each grade level.