Thursday, July 16, 2009

Financial Literacy Program Offered

Rep. Henry Fincher of Cookeville attended a recent luncheon to learn about Tennessee Tech University and Upper Cumberland Regional P-16 Partners' new Financial Literacy initiatives. Tech officials say residents of Tennessee often have limited opportunities to learn fundamental financial literacy skills and the state often leads the country in number of bankruptcies. Additionally, factors such as the low levels of educational attainment at both the high school and postsecondary levels, coupled with low income levels for many Tennessee residents, often compound problems with financial literacy and sound financial management. In order to address the importance of financial responsibility to Tennessee's youth, a new high school personal finance course will be required for one-half credit in the 2009- 2010 school year. Tennessee Tech University, in partnership with the Upper Cumberland School Director's Study Council and Tennessee's Department of Education, Upper Cumberland Field Services Center, will provide three days of training by financial literacy professionals to prepare high school and middle school teachers in the Upper Cumberland region to teach the course. The Personal Finance workshops, sponsored by Garry McNabb and Cash Express, are designed to provide teachers with the skills to assist their students with a foundational understanding for making informed personal finance decisions. The workshop will cover real world topics such as income, money management, spending, and credit as well as saving and investing. Teachers will also learn to assist students in creating personal and household budgets; simulate use of checking and savings accounts; demonstrate knowledge of finance, debit and credit management; and evaluate and understand topics such as insurance and taxes. Ultimately teachers will help students understand the impact of individual choices on occupational goals and future earning potential.