Why We Are Investing $25 Million in Teachers

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Apr 16, 2018
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Professional Development, Personal Finance

I had the good fortune of addressing JumpStart leaders at their recent Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C. I announced that NGPF will be investing $25 million in teacher professional development over the next decade to ensure that  "every classroom has a highly qualified, confident educator to develop the financial skills so the next generation of students has a better future." 

Why are we investing in educators? It's pretty simple. There is no other way to accomplish our mission "to revolutionize the teaching of personal finance in all schools and to improve the financial lives of the next generation of Americans." As we have traversed the country, we have met thousands of you at conferences, NGPF FinCamps, Summer Institutes and our inaugural Summit. You inspire us, challenge us and give us great ideas so we can continue to serve the community better. In just a short period of time, we have also seen personal finance educators transformed into passionate advocates. Courtney Poquette of Winooski High School (VT), Kayla Bousom of Johnston High School (IA) and Kerri Herrild of De Pere High School (WI) are great examples!

To use an horse racing analogy, this investment hits the trifecta. We know that effective and engaging teacher PD:

  • Improves an educator's own financial capability
  • Benefits students by expanding the knowledge and pedagogical tools and methods of the educator
  • Moves us closer to the goal of ALL students having access to financial education by igniting the passion of teacher-advocates at the grassroots level

So, what will this look like on the ground? 

  • Significant expansion of our one-day FinCamps. We completed our first 11 FinCamps in 2017 and expect to hit 30 this calendar year. How have we grown so quickly? Word of mouth. With a teacher rating of 9.8/10, these teacher-centric workshops build content knowledge and collaborative relationships while also introducing new lessons and activities that teachers can implement immediately. Thanks to Jump$tart for being a crucial partner in our dramatic growth. 
  • Piloting 3-day PD sessions this summer. One day FinCamps have gotten rave reviews but too many teachers tell us that they "wish we had more time." We will be supporting a variety of programs including Jump$tart's Financial Foundations, NGPF's FinCamp PLUS and other grassroots efforts. We look forward to taking the best ideas from this summer and coalescing around a model in future years that we can quickly replicate in other states. Wisconsin's efforts provide a great roadmap here. It's no coincidence that their investment in educators since 2000 through their National Institute of Financial and Economic Literacy at Edgewood College yielded legislation last fall which mandated personal finance. 
  • We look forward to continuing to attend teacher conferences, running our Summer Institutes and putting on our annual Summit. These efforts will remain core to our face-to-face PD offerings.  

We could not be more excited about this opportunity to expand our services to you. We look forward to seeing you soon! 

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.