|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
No one is born understanding economics and personal finance…but we all need that knowledge. And, sadly, most young people do not learn these lessons at home. So, our students are fortunate that in the state of Virginia an Economics and Personal Finance Course is required for high school graduation.
Currently, teachers in a variety of subjects are permitted to teach the EPF course, including agriculture, math, social studies, marketing, family and consumer science, business and information technology. Unfortunately, many of those very teachers were not required to take economics or personal finance for their own college graduation. And for some who did, those courses were taken 20 years ago… and thus not top-of-mind.
Since the course was mandated, some teachers have taken it on themselves to enroll in college economics or personal finance courses or they have participated in institutes specially designed to prepare teachers to teach the course. But, until now, there has been no specific requirement. And, there has been no endorsement that would let school divisions know that a teacher had the knowledge and skills to teach that course.
To solve that problem, the Virginia Board of Education has voted to offer an endorsement for teachers of the Economics and Personal Finance course. The proposed Add-On Endorsement to these licensure requirements would require "six semester hours of economics or a non-college credit institute in economics," such as VCEE's Economics Institute, for teachers of the Economics course. The proposed Add-On Endorsement would require "three semester hours of personal finance or a non-college credit institute in personal finance," such as VCEE's Personal Finance Institute, for teachers of the Personal Finance course. We believe these requirements are acceptable and would help to ensure that every Virginia student is able to learn economics and personal finance from a knowledgeable and qualified teacher. Teachers who had already been teaching the course would be “grandfathered in”. And, other teachers who wished to teach the course would have two years to fulfill the requirements.
At VCU, for seven years I taught Economics and Personal Finance Institutes for many teachers who were going to be teaching the EPF course. They were grateful for the preparation; they said it readied them to be effective teachers of Economics and Personal Finance. Without requiring training, some teachers have been thrown into the water to learn economics and personal finance as they taught the course…always just one chapter ahead of their students.
The content of the Economics and Personal Finance Course is something students will use every day for the rest of their lives. This endorsement would assure the public that Virginia teachers to get the knowledge and skill they need before they walk in to teach the Economics and Personal Finance Course.