|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
Economic and Personal Finance education are so important for our students, and I am grateful for the foresight of Virginia to have made this a required course. I have taught the EPF course for many years, and it is my favorite class to teach, because I know this kind of information can be a complete game changer in a child’s life, and pay dividends far into the future.
In 2011, I was an English teacher with an interest, but no experience, in teaching economics or personal finance. I was lucky to have read about the Virginia Council on Economic Education (VCEE) in the Superintendent’s email. I signed up for the free teacher education and got plugged into an amazing community that showed me how to engage students in the content and have a measurable impact. The endorsements in Social Studies and in CTE that I got by paying to take the Praxis in those subjects qualified me on paper to teach EPF, but it was the hands-on education I got (for free) from the VCEE that made me effective in the classroom. I also had a connection and a place to ask questions and improve my teaching in this area.
If there had been an Add-On Endorsement, I would not have had to pay for the testing fees to be endorsed in one of the accepted areas, and I would have had a clear pathway to become a well-prepared teacher, instead of just serendipitously finding the VCEE. This will open a path for teachers who are actually interested in and want to teach the class to do it–it will expand the pool of available teachers in the long run.
I am the last person to want to pile more on teachers' plates. But having a requirement for this Add-On Endorsement is an important way to ensure teachers are competent and confident in the content. I can’t tell you how many teachers have told me they wish they could take my class! But being able to manage your own finances is very different than teaching it to teenagers. We can’t afford to have this class poorly taught–it will cost the Commonwealth in the future if our students do not have a strong understanding of economics and personal finance. The training that is offered is flexible and tailored to the immediate needs of the classroom teacher. It is a worthwhile investment.
The VCEE has plans to meet the demands of teachers needing 45-hour non-college institutes in both economics and personal finance, and they plan to offer this professional development in both online and in-person formats.
Virginia already recognizes the importance of having students take this course, as evidenced by the fact that it is a graduation requirement. I strongly urge the Board of Education to continue in that same vein and approve the Add-On Endorsement.