|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
The Virginia Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) has been a strong supporter of the required course in economics and personal finance (EPF) from its inception. The EPF Standards of Learning are essential life skills that will serve students well throughout their lives, regardless of their future vocation. The content provides students with a foundational understanding of our free-market system. Students learn how businesses operate and individuals participate in our global economic system.
For students to gain the knowledge and skills contemplated in this course, it is essential that they have a knowledgeable EPF teacher. Thus, the Chamber supports efforts to ensure teachers who are new to teaching the EPF course have an educational background in the content. The proposed Add-On Endorsement for Economic and Personal Finance provides minimal, but appropriate, educational standards for new EPF teachers. The Chamber urges the Board of Education to approve the proposed add-on endorsement.
Thank you for your consideration.
I am very pleased that the Board of Education is considering this Add-On Endorsement. I believe it is an absolutely critical step for the education of students around the Commonwealth. As a professor at UVA, I recognize the skills that students come into class with, or without. I think it is very important for the teachers of these, and all, students to be prepared to provide the best possible education. This way, the students will thrive immediately and in their future journeys. Please approve the Add-On Endorsement.
As a teacher that has been teaching EPF since this was required, there is no need for an extra endorsement! Currently Government and Econ teachers can teach this as well as most CTE teachers. Due to the current climate in schools I do not wish to give my name as I only have 4 years to go to retirement and fear repercussions. This will just cost school systems more money, and teachers added stress to receive the new endorsement. No wonder colleges like UVA support this as this will increase their enrollment. Vote no on making this endorsement required to teach this class.
I strongly support this Add-On Endorsement and request its approval by the board of education. Bradley H, Gunter
I fully support the proposed add-on EPF endorsement and respectfully request that the Virginia Board of Education approve it. With a PhD in economic education, I can attest to the extensive literature base that suggests many teachers are not prepared to teach economics at the secondary level, both in terms of content knowledge and pedagogical practices that make economics accessible to secondary students, based on correlated student achievement scores and self-identified lack of preparedness. My add-on endorsement support is also based on my 20+ years of personal experiences and antidotal evidence gathered through delivering professional development programs in economics and personal finance for secondary teachers. And while university content courses in both disciplines are important, teachers often continue to lack the pedagogical practices necessary in connecting the dots between the content they learned and the realities of making it accessible and relatable to secondary students’ everyday lives. Therefore, I highly recommend the VCEE Economics Institute and VCEE Personal Finance Institute that strategically feature both content knowledge and pedagogical best practices, which offer added benefits in preparing provisionally licensed teachers for early success in the classroom.
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.
As a former classroom teacher and now university administrative faculty, I know that educators struggle with the confidence to teach subject areas in which they have limited experience and course history. The students of Virginia deserve teachers who have received the education and professional development support to confidently teach the standards within our state's Economics & Personal Finance course. The EPF course will have a more lasting impact on behavior when students have the opportunity to take part in teacher-led high-quality activities to apply these skills in the secondary learning environment and not trust in the manufacturers of simulation resources as a primary means of instruction. Discussions will take place, and classrooms will ignite with the power of seeing the world through the lens of how their personal - and one day professional - choices impact their communities and their world. In addition, there are opportunities for educators to receive nationally renowned and vetted professional development free of charge across The Commonwealth. A better tomorrow - where all of Virginia is economically and financially literate and empowered - will be the result when the Add-On Endorsement is adopted for the secondary EPF course.
I support the add-on endorsement for Economics and Personal Finance teachers in Virginia. It is great that Virginia has a strong SOL in EPF as it is critically important that all children are educated on the foundational principles of a market economy and key concepts of personal finance such as the time value of money and opportunity costs as they relate to spending, saving and personal debt. These topics should be taught by a engaging qualified teacher.
This endorsement is a simple and flexible addition that will ensure that teachers have learned the basic tenets of economics and personal finance before teaching the same coursework to Virginia students. There are multiple means of meeting the requirement, and time to complete those requirements. It is essential to our children's life success that they understand the basics of personal finance, and they deserve to learn these topics from teachers who have spent time to understand the concepts. As someone with a career in finance, I have seen the differences in life outcomes between those who have learned these important skills at a young age and those who have not. This endorsement takes a simple but important step to ensure that Virginia students get the best possible financial education. The cost/benefit is clear.
Virginia is a national leader in having its students graduate with a solid foundation of important economic concepts and useful personal financial skills. These are essential life skills regardless of future vocation. We applaud the Department of Education for pursuing an add-on endorsement to teach personal finance and economics at the high school level and we agree that it is important to do so.
I am writing to express my support for the add on endorsement for the Virginia Economics and Personal Finance instruction. The proposal is balanced and well-thought out. Allowing for the 45 non-credit training as an alternative to the credit requirement makes a great deal of sense and will allow a larger pool of instructors to teach the course. Also allowing a larger pool of instructors to teach the course will allow flexibility and ultimately help students.
Since adopting the Economics and Personal Finance required course for high school students in 2011, Virginia has become a clear national leader in preparing students with a most essential life skill: understanding personal finance and the related economic principles behind effective financial management. The add-on endorsement is a logical and compelling next step and one that will keep the Commonwealth a best practices state in financial education. Thank you for pursuing this endorsement, which the Virginia Bankers Association strongly supports.
Virginia has been a national leader in promoting the teaching of economics and personal finance in our schools for 50 years. Approximately 200,000 students benefit annually from the courses provided by our trained teachers. The proposed add-on endorsement furthers our goals of financial literacy and national leadership.
Approve the EPF Add-On Endorsement
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this important topic for Virginia's students. It's common knowledge that individuals today need a strong understanding of economics and personal finance (EPF) in order to have financial stability throughout their life. Sadly, far too many young people are never provided that education, especially early in life when it matters most.
Fortunately, Virginia requires EPF education in our public schools, including a full credit high school course. These requirements lay a strong educational foundation for our students, including those economically disadvantaged, and provides critical life skills needed for future success and financial stability.
Of course, for the EPF curriculum to be effective, it must be taught well and by qualified teachers. I believe the add-on endorsement is a positive step toward ensuring each student learns these critical skills and concepts by knowledgeable teachers.
I understand there are concerns about this requirement adding to the burdens of teachers and school systems. It seems the requirement is reasonable and flexible, while still ensuring our teachers have adequate training in these critical subjects.
I serve on the board of the Virginia Council on Economic Education (VCEE), and over the last 12 years, 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. Thank you for considering this request.
April 12, 2022
Comments to the Virginia Board of Education Re: Economics and Personal Finance Add-on Endorsement
As a member of the Boards of the Virginia Council on Economic Education and Your Economic Success (YES) at JMU’s Center for Economic Education, I appreciate the Virginia Department of Education for seeking an add-on endorsement for teaching economics and personal finance in high school.
The proposed requirements to obtain an Economics and Personal Finance Add-on Endorsement are reasonable and add flexibility for teachers, as they allow a teacher to substitute a non-credit course of 45 hours, as described in the proposal endorsed by ABTEL, in place of the college credit hour requirements.
A goal of adopting an add-on endorsement for EPF is to allow greater flexibility so that more teachers are credentialed to 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 a teacher who is licensed in any subject to teach EPF, as long as they satisfy the add-on endorsement requirements.
The add-on endorsement is a positive step toward empowering teachers to better understand and articulate economics and personal finance concepts. Virginia’s Economics and Personal Finance (EPF) class will provide students with essential life skills that will benefit them, regardless of their future vocation. The required EPF class is especially valuable for disadvantaged students who wouldn’t otherwise learn these important economic concepts or gain these useful financial skills.
Virginia has strong Standards of Learning (SOLs) for Economics and Personal Finance, and with the required high school Economics and Personal Finance class, Virginia is a national leader in its efforts to have our students graduate economically and financially literate. Please improve teacher credentials by supporting the proposed requirements to obtain an Economics and Personal Finance Add-on Endorsement.
Thank you for your consideration.
I strongly encourage the Virginia Board of Education to approve the proposed add-on endorsement for EPF. Without this licensure endorsement there will not be standardization of the qualifications needed to teach this required high school course. Our students deserve better. Please approve.
Subject: Add-On Endorsement for Economic and Personal Finance
I support the addition of the proposed add-on endorsement for the teachers of the EPF courses. Raising the knowledge and preparation of our teachers ultimately means greater understanding for Virginia's students. This proposed action has a good balance between raising the bar and having enough teachers. It is my understanding that there is a phase-in period for this endorsement and opportunities for current teachers to obtain the endorsement with a recommendation from their Superintendent.
This add on will help better prepare Virginia students to operate in a global economy and make better economic decisions.
I support the Add-On Endorsement and request its approval by the Board of Education. It is our responsibility to provide tomorrow's Virginians the tools to make prudent financial decisions. Two main factors lead to this success. First, access to economics and personal finance as part of their education. Second, and possibly more important, well-trained teachers who engage students. Additional, but efficient training, in this domain will result in a more productive and effective educational experience.
Like others here, I support the Add-On Endorsement and request its approval by the Board of Education. A high quality economic and personal finance (EPF) education, especially one that gets right the principles of personal finance, is key for at least three reasons. One, it should be viewed as ladder to allow those with poorer opportunities to make the most of them--especially when it comes to decisions to skill themselves. Second, given whatever skills one acquires, the path to wealth is saving and time--so requires budgeting skills, realistic expectations of returns to financial investments, and clarity on the returns to deferred gratification, all which good EPF delivers. Third, EPF should be viewed as a shield for our children: In 2022, poorly-understood but easy-to-access investment vehicles abound, and are accessible by anyone with a smartphone, i.e., anyone. So the risks, and hence the value of EPF, has never been higher.
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.
As the CEO of Virginia529, a former Board member of Junior Achievement of Central Virginia (JACV) and a Board member of the Virginia Council on Economic Education, as well as a former educator, I have seen the positive impacts flowing from knowledge of basic principles of economics and personal finance (EPF) and am so proud that Virginia was one of the first states to mandate a course in EPF for high school graduation. That the teachers of those courses should have a demonstrable foundation in those principles seems intuitive to me - and the majority of teachers agree that they would benefit from professional development in EPF. I have had the honor for many years of working with Virginia educators and students through the partnerships Virginia529 has with VCEE and JACV. Through those relationships, it is easy to see what a difference dedicated, trained and engaged teachers make in the lives of their students - and we are fortunate already to have many such teachers across the Commonwealth. The Add-on Endorsement has been fully vetted and the proposal is reasonable and attainable for those interested. The proposal has a grandfather provision for those already teaching, a two year transition period to provide time to obtain the necessary training, and a flexible requirement which relies on completion of either college level coursework in EPF OR non-college credit institutes in EPF like those already provided by VCEE. I wholeheartedly support approving the add-on endorsement in EPF.
When I was an undergraduate student, it was during my third college economics class that economics really “clicked” for me. When I was a student teacher (and after that, a new teacher), and I found I could use my economic way of thinking to quickly find answers to the questions my high school students would ask me. But if I had been in the situation that so many new teachers are -- assigned to teach economics with little preparation – my experience would have been totally different. I support the proposed add-on endorsement for Economics and Personal Finance (EPF) because it provides both a high standard to teach EPF, but also provides the means for teachers to reach this standard for free.
Furthermore, the add-on endorsement for EPF expands the range of teachers who are allowed to teach the class. One of the best economics teachers I know was licensed in English! The add-on endorsement allows a path for all teachers to gain the subject matter knowledge necessary to teach this class. Since the proposal allows this to be on-site through local colleges, or through an online class, or through one of Virginia’s curricular organizations, the infrastructure exists to make this a relatively painless process – an incoming teacher who already has one economics course from her undergraduate years could become qualified to teach EPF with just two weeks of free intensive summer institutes. Without the endorsement, new teachers are likely to arrive with the correct license, but without the correct subject-matter experience. They are also likely to be blocked from teaching the class for not having the right license, even if the experience is readily available. The add-on endorsement solves these problems.
For implementation of the add-on endorsement, it will be important that school divisions be provided a list of programs that provide the opportunity to fill out the requirement. Since the programs already exist, it should not be too onerous for school divisions.
Economics and personal finance are complex topics. A teacher can’t just read the textbook ahead of time and have mastery over the content. Incoming teachers have far more college experience with other subject matter than economics and personal finance. We need both the resources and the incentive to close this gap in subject-matter knowledge and familiarity with lesson plans, so the crucial lessons of economics and personal finance can be taught with the highest possible quality. We want students to say “EPF was my favorite class in high school!” The add-on endorsement is a step in that direction.
Economics and Personal Finance is so important. I am pleased that there is now a required course for students, but I think we need to make sure the teachers are properly licensed. Virginia is fortunate to have the VCEE program available to support this effort.
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.
I support the adoption of the Add-On Endorsement. Student education in the areas of Economics and Personal Finance from a qualified teacher is essential to their financial acumen and understanding as they enter adulthood and their careers!
I think it's important for Virginia students to learn economics and personal finance for a qualified teacher, and this add-on endorsement will help that come true. Please vote in favor.
The Virginia Credit Union League strongly supports the Commonwealth’s leadership in requiring Virginia’s high school students to take a course Economics and Personal Finance. Credit unions have always been strong advocates and leaders in the promotion thrift and financial literacy for our members and the communities we serve, making this an issue near and dear to us. Ensuring the state’s students graduate high school with at least a rudimentary knowledge of economics and personal finance is setting them up for future success. These classes allow Virginia’s young adults to enter college or the workforce with the skills necessary to manage their money and make smart financial decisions, hopefully preventing them from making costly mistakes that could negatively impact their lives for many years.
The Virginia Credit Union League supports the Department of Education’s add-on endorsement to enhance and ensure that the education being offered to our students best positions them for the future.
I am writing to support the proposed Add-On endorsement to the licensure requirements necessary to teach the Economics and Personal Finance (EPF) Course in Virginia’s High Schools. It is important for Virginia High School Students to receive Economics and Personal Finance Instruction from well prepared instructors. This proposal will move instruction in Virginia toward that goal. The phase-in provisions will lead to a smooth transition.
Virginia is one of a handful of states that require students to demonstrate economic literacy as well as a knowledge of personal finance in order to graduate from high school. Economic literacy is the best vaccine we have against magical thinking and it prepares students to participate in our democratic process as informed decision makers.
The add on endorsement will ensure that Virginia students are able to learn economics from a qualified teacher. Virginia teachers are among the best, but many of them do not have a background in economics and even more are unfamiliar the pedagogy associated with successfully conveying economic concepts to students. This add on endorsement will further ensure that Virginia students receive the best education we can provide them in a subject area that is critical, not only to their success, but to our success as a civil society.
The economic and personal finance education of our students is particularly important. I am glad that there is a required economics course for all Virginia high school students. However, we must ensure that the teachers are properly trained in the subject matter and licensed to teach the courses. I encourage you to support the Add-On Endorsement for this program.
Ensuring Virginia high school graduates have an understanding of the basics of economics and personal finance is of ever-increasing importance. The complexities and nuances of these topics require that our teachers have the appropriate training to ensure comprehension. Please consider the add-on endorsement and the focus on continuous improvement in our education and schools.
The Commonwealth has been a leader in teaching financial literacy to its students. The add-on endorsement will only enhance the confidence of our teachers and help assure the ones who are teaching the subject possess the knowledge to teach it effectively. Thank you