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GRADE LEVEL | Pre-K | K | 1st | 2nd | 3rd | 4th | 5th | 6th | 7th | 8th | 9th | 10th | 11th | 12th |
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Typical Course of Study | National Standards | State Standards

Ask most parents who should teach their kids about money and the immediate response is the schools. Many schools have incorporated financial education into their curriculum. Home schooling provides parents the unique opportunity to combine financial education with real-life experience. Churches, financial institutions, extension agencies, corporations, financial advisors, parents and many more groups, organizations and individuals are getting involved in the financial education of children. This area is intended to be a resource for all teachers. In time, we plan to supplement this area with specific information for home schoolers, financial institutions, and many of these other groups. Please check back frequently for updates and additions. We would encourage you to email us with your comments and suggestions on this subject.

Typical Course of Study

World Book Learning Resources suggests a typical courses of study for Kindergarten through 12th Grade:
  • Kindergarten - Denominations of money
  • 1st Grade - Value of penny, nickel, dime, quarter
  • 2nd Grade - Handling money (coins)
  • 3rd Grade - Consumers and producers
  • 6th Grade - World trade
  • 7th Grade - World trade and resources
  • 8th Grade - U. S. economic system, mathematics of insurance, banking, and taxes
  • 9th Grade - Elementary economics, banks and banking, investment, budgeting, insurance, taxation
  • 11th Grade - Mass communication, advertising
  • 12th Grade - Comparative economic systems, consumer education, economic concepts and theories, taxation and finance, distribution and exchange of goods and services, family economics and management

Editors Note: Although not listed, I am sure that somewhere within these topics is a lesson on interest and how it works from both an investing and borrowing perspective. I believe a good working knowledge of this subject is essential for all consumers.


National Standards in K-12 Personal Financial Education

Jump$tart is a national coalition of organizations dedicated to improving the financial literacy of kindergarten through college-age youth by providing advocacy, research, standards and educational resources. Jump$tart strives to prepare youth for life-long successful financial decision-making. Their National Standards in K–12 Personal Finance Education describe their minimum requirements for functional financial literacy. They describe what personal finance instruction should enable students to know and do.

The Standards

Financial Responsibility and Decision Making
Overall Competency: Apply reliable information and systematic decision making to personal financial decisions.
Standard 1: Take responsibility for personal financial decisions.
Standard 2: Find and evaluate financial information from a variety of sources.
Standard 3: Summarize major consumer protection laws.
Standard 4: Make financial decisions by systematically considering alternatives and consequences.
Standard 5: Develop communication strategies for discussing financial issues.
Standard 6: Control personal information.

Income and Careers
Overall Competency: Use a career plan to develop personal income potential.
Standard 1: Explore career options.
Standard 2: Identify sources of personal income.
Standard 3: Describe factors affecting take-home pay.

Planning and Money Management
Overall Competency: Organize personal finances and use a budget to manage cash flow.
Standard 1: Develop a plan for spending and saving.
Standard 2: Develop a system for keeping and using financial records.
Standard 3: Describe how to use different payment methods.
Standard 4: Apply consumer skills to purchase decisions.
Standard 5: Consider charitable giving.
Standard 6: Develop a personal financial plan.
Standard 7: Examine the purpose and importance of a will.

Credit and Debt
Overall Competency: Maintain creditworthiness, borrow at favorable terms, and manage debt.
Standard 1: Identify the costs and benefits of various types of credit.
Standard 2: Explain the purpose of a credit record and identify borrowers' credit report rights.
Standard 3: Describe ways to avoid or correct debt problems.
Standard 4: Summarize major consumer credit laws.

Risk Management and Insurance
Overall Competency: Use appropriate and cost-effective risk management strategies.
Standard 1: Identify common types of risks and basic risk management methods.
Standard 2: Explain the purpose and importance of property and liability insurance protection.
Standard 3: Explain the purpose and importance of health, disability, and life insurance protection.

Saving and Investing
Overall Competency: Implement a diversified investment strategy that is compatible with personal goals.
Standard 1: Discuss how saving contributes to financial well-being.
Standard 2: Explain how investing builds wealth and helps meet financial goals.
Standard 3: Evaluate investment alternatives.
Standard 4: Describe how to buy and sell investments.
Standard 5: Explain how taxes affect the rate of return on investments.
Standard 6: Investigate how agencies that regulate financial markets protect investors.

Knowledge Statements

These statements provide further guidance at three points in consumer development — the 4th, 8th and 12th grades. They are intended for:

  • Publishers as they develop and revise curricula, and

  • Educators as they select classroom materials and plan lessons.

The Knowledge Statements are provided on the 4th, 8th and 12th grade home pages.


State Standards

Many states have set their own standards for Personal Financial Education. Many more are taking action on an almost daily basis.

The Education Commission of the States reports on recent state legislative initiatives. Here's a current list of recent states laws mandating Economic education.

The Council on Economic Education (CEE) surveys the current status of financial and economic education in the States and publishes their findings in the CEE Survey of the States 2009. Here's what the CEE has to say about the progress being made:

Personal Finance, a newer subject in comparison with Economics, is now included, to at least some extent, in the educational standards of 44 states (up from 40 in 2007 and 21 in 1998).
  • 34 states (up from 28 in 2007 and 14 in 1998), now require these standards to be implemented.
  • 9 states require the testing of student knowledge in Personal Finance (same as in 2007).
  • 13 states now require students to take a Personal Finance course (or Personal Finance included in an Economics course) as a high school graduation requirement (up from seven in 2007 and from one in 1998). These 13 states make up nearly 31% of the entire U.S. population.

Here are many of the state standards:

Alabama - Alabama Course of Study Social Studies

Overview of Conceptual Framework for Economics Strand - page 3, Minimum Required Content for Economics Strand - pages 91 - 95. Draft prepared April, 2010.

Alaska - Alaska Government/Citizenship Standards

Scroll down to Standard F for Economics and G for Personal Finance for age-appropriate activities relevant to each Standard.

Key Elements for Government/Citizenship

Scroll down to Standard F for Economics and G for Personal Finance for a listing of Key Elements for each Standard.

Arizona - Social Studies Standard Articulated by Grade Level Strand 5: Economics

Scroll down to Concept 5: Personal Finance for Grade 1 through 12 Standards. Adopted 2005, updated 2006.

Arkansas - Economics - Social Studies Curriculum Framework

Personal Financial Management standards are address in Content Standards 11 (page 13), 12 (page 14) and 13 (page 15). Revised 2006, amended June, 2009.

California -

2010 History-Social Science Framework Update, Chapter 2: Goals and Curriculum Strands

July 17, 2009
Economic Literacy - pages 23 - 26.

History-Social Science Content Standards for California Public Schools,
Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve

Reposted July 23, 2009
In kindergarten through grade three, students are introduced to the basic concepts of each discipline: history, geography, civics, and economics. Beginning at grade four, the disciplines are woven together within the standards at each grade. The critical thinking skills that support the study of history–social science are outlined in the sections for grades five, eight, and ten. To approach subject matter as historians, geographers, economists, and political scientists, students are expected to employ these skills as they master the content.

2010 History-Social Science Framework Update

July 17, 2009
Chapter 3: Course Descriptions for Kindergarten through Grade Five
Chapter 4: Course Descriptions for Grades Six through Eight
Chapter 5: Course Descriptions for Grades Nine through Twelve

California Career Technical Education Model Curriculum Standards - Grades Seven Through Twelve

May, 2005

Colorado - Personal Financial Literacy Expectations

Addendum to Social Studies and Mathematics Standards Documents. Adopted December 10, 2009.

Connecticut - Social Studies Curriculum Framework Grades PK-12

Standard 1, items 1.10, 1.11 (page 17) and 1.12 (page 18) address objectives for Personal Financial education within an Economics context. Edited October 6, 2009.

Delaware - Proposed High School Standards - Personal Finance

Interested parties have until September 7, 2010, to comment on the proposed standards.

Florida - Georgia Performance Standards by Grade Level, K-8

Select Social Studies as the Subject Area, the Grade Level you're interested in, Economics as the Strand, chose a Standard and, finally, chose a Benchmark. Please let us know if you can find a better way to extract this information. July 26, 2008.

Georgia - Georgia Performance Standards by Grade Level, K-8

Scroll down to your grade level, select Social Studies and scroll down to Economic Understandings for that grade level.

Grades 9 - 12

Personal Finance Economic Standards are listed on page 4. Revised August 14, 2008.

Idaho - Content Standards - Mathematics of Personal Finance

Mathematical requirements for each area of Personal Finance. Adopted July 7, 2008.

Content Standards - Economics

Personal Finance addressed in Social Studies Content Standard 3 for grades K through 12. Adopted August 20, 2009.

Illinois - STATE GOAL 15: Understand economic systems, with an emphasis on the United States

Each concept has performance objectives by grade level - Early Elementary, Late Elementary, Middle/Junior High School, Early High School and Late High School.

Indiana - Personal Financial Responsibility Instruction - Guidelines for Implementation

Guidelines for school corporations to meet the legislated requirements for including instruction in personal financial responsibility beginning in 2009 school year for grades 6 through 12. Enacted 2009.

Iowa - Iowa Core Curriculum for Economics

Select Grade Span K-2, 3-5, 6-8 or 9-12 for a listing of essential concepts and skills.

Kansas - Kansas Curricular Standards for History & Government; Economics & Geography Education

Resources include a Word document that addresses grade levels K through 12 or PDFs for each individual grade. Approved December, 2004.

Maine - Maine's 2007 Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Instruction

Chapter 132 - Social Studies Section
Economics - Pages 10 - 12
Standards, Performance Indicators & Descriptors

Maryland - Financial Literacy Education

Update on actions taken and plans for completion. Beginning September, 2011.

Massachusetts - Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework

The framework sets forth standards, concepts, and skills for each grade from pre-kindergarten to grade 7, as well as the grade 12 elective for economics. August, 2003.

Michigan - Social Studies Standards

Strand IV - Economics Perspective (PDF pages 28-30, document pages 40-42) includes four content standards with benchmarks for early elementary, later elementary, middle school and high school levels. Adopted July 19, 1995.

Missouri - Personal Finance Curriculum

Required financial literacy course for grades 11-12. Established 2006.

Montana - Montana Standards for Social Studies

Social Studies Content Standard 5 (page 6) - Students make informed decisions based on an understanding of the economic principles of production, distribution, exchange, and consumption. Includes benchmarks for the end of Grade 4, Grade 8 and Grade 12. October, 2000.

New Jersey - Personal Financial Literacy

2009 New Jersey 21st-Century Life and Careers Core Curriculum Content Standards.

New York - Economics, the Enterprise System, and Finance

Performance Indicators Grades K through 12, Standard 4 - Economics, Key Idea 1, Key Idea 2, Alternate Assessment for Students with Severe Disabilities

Grade 12 Social Studies: Economics and Economic Decision Making (Core Curriculum, Part 2, page 156). February, 2002.

North Dakota - ND Performance Levels for Social Studies Standards and Benchmarks

Strand 3 - Economic Systems (PDF page 10, document page viii) includes benchmarks for Grades K-4 (PDF pages 16-17), Grades 5-8 (PDF pages 27-28) and Grades 9-12 (PDF pages 38-39). September 30, 2001.

Ohio - Financial Literacy

Links to the state requirement as well as a curriculum outline and other resources. Effective July 1, 2010.

Oklahoma - Personal Financial Literacy Standards

Practical Academic Student Skills for Grades 7-12. Enacted 2008.

Oregon - Background and Policy Recommendations (January, 2009)

Personal Finance standards are included within the Social Sciences area. To view standards, select Social Sciences, click on Next, select grade level Three (SS.03.EC.02, page 4), Five (SS.05.EC.06, page 5), Eight (SS.08.EC.08, page 5) or High School (SS.HS.EC.09, pages 5-6) and click on Generate Your Standards to view the specific standards at any of these grade levels. You may select more than one grade level at a time. Adopted August 6, 2010.

Pennsylvania - Where is Personal Finance in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards?

Identifies Personal Financial content within the standards for Mathematics, Economics, Family & Consumer Finance, Career Education & Work. Revised 2009.

South Dakota - Personal Finance Content Standards

Required financial literacy course for grades 11-12. Established 2010.

Tennessee - Personal Finance Curriculum

Required financial literacy course for grades 11-12. Established 2007.

Texas - TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) - Economics

Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 19, Part II, Chapter 118 - Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Economics with Emphasis on the Free Enterprise System and Its Benefits; Subchapter A - High School; Subchapter B - Other Economic Courses. September 1, 1998.

Status Report: Formalizing a Personal Money Management Course in Texas Public Schools. Report published September, 2004. Course proposed for 2012 - 2013 school year.

Utah - General Financial Literacy - Core Standards

Required financial literacy course for grades 11-12. Includes Lesson Plans and Links.

Virginia - Economics and Personal Finance Standards of Learning

Standards are provided for each of the fifteen subject areas. Approved November 17, 2009.


Standard 3 - Economics (PDF page 8, document page vi), includes detailed Standards and Performance Descriptors for each grade K through 12. Effective December 14, 2009.

Wisconsin - Wisconsin's Model Academic Standards for Personal Financial Literacy

Content and Performance Standards to be achieved by the end of the 4th, 8th and 12th grades. Established 2006.


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