|Establish an Add-on Endorsement in the Licensure Regulations for School Personnel (8VAC20-23) to Teach Economics and Personal Finance
|Ended on 4/15/2022
Students need a strong, interdisciplinary foundation in economics and personal finance to function effectively as consumers, workers, savers, investors, entrepreneurs, and active citizens. Fortunately, Virginia’s K-12 Standards of Learning adequately address economic and financial concepts, culminating with the required full-credit high school course in Economics and Personal Finance (EPF). Taught well and by qualified teachers, Virginia’s EPF course will provide students with essential life skills that will benefit them, regardless of their future vocation. The required EPF course especially helps the more disadvantaged students who might not otherwise learn these valuable economic concepts or gain useful financial skills.
For students to fully benefit from the EPF course, they need teachers who understand economics and personal finance. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to hear new EPF teachers say that they don’t feel comfortable teaching economics and personal finance. A recent national survey of teachers conducted by PWC corroborated those concerns. The proposed add-on endorsement is a positive step toward ensuring that every Virginia student has the opportunity to learn economics and personal finance from a knowledgeable teacher.
I understand there may be concerns about placing additional burdens on teachers, but the proposed requirements to earn the add-on endorsement seem reasonable, especially since they allow for the substitution of non-college credit institutes of 45 hours each in place of each of the semester hour requirements for economics and personal finance. A transition period also seems reasonable. And, current EPF teachers will be grandfathered.
One benefit of adopting the proposed add-on endorsement for EPF is to allow greater flexibility so that more teachers can teach this course. Currently, teachers who teach EPF are required to have a license in one of six subjects. The add-on endorsement would allow additional teachers to teach EPF, as long as they satisfy the add-on endorsement requirements.
Over the last 12 years, the Virginia Council on Economic Education (VCEE) has provided thousands of Virginia EPF teachers with content knowledge and classroom resources enable the them to more effectively teach economics and personal finance to their students. Going forward, VCEE plans to meet the demands of teachers needing 45-hour non-college institutes in both economics and personal finance, offering this professional development in online and in-person formats.
I urge the Board of Education to approve the EPF Add-On Endorsement.