LSU AgCenter Providing Financial Training For Teachers

Jeanette A. Tucker, Merrill, Thomas A.  |  4/19/2005 10:29:10 PM

News Release Distributed 06/16/04 

Louisiana teachers have the chance to learn more about financial management again this summer, thanks to the LSU AgCenter.

Their education is part of an ongoing effort intended to help Louisiana high school students become more financially literate.

A state law passed last year now requires teachers to include information on personal finances as part of the free enterprise courses Louisiana students must take.

To assist teachers in having the tools they need to provide that instruction, the LSU AgCenter will offer 22 different workshops across the state again this summer – just as it did last year to help with implementing the program for the first time.

The workshops, which begin June 29 and conclude July 27, will be offered at various locations across the state

"The teachers who take part this summer are preparing for the coming school years – when a state law mandates that the free enterprise course include instruction in personal finance," said LSU AgCenter family economist Dr. Jeanette Tucker. "We’re covering topics they are specifically required to teach like income, money management, spending and credit, and saving and investing,"

According to results of a 2004 national survey conducted by the Jump$tart Coalition For Personal Financial Literacy, only 46 percent of Louisiana teens surveyed could correctly answer questions on basic financial topics related to taxes, retirement, insurance, credit use and budgeting.

"Young adults are leaving schools without the ability to make critical financial decisions affecting their lives," Tucker stressed. "Studies show that positive impacts result from financial education, because that helps students develop and apply real-life financial concepts."

During the workshops this summer, the LSU AgCenter will provide training to approximately 400 free enterprise teachers about using the National Endowment for Financial Education’s High School Financial Planning Program in their classrooms.

"This curriculum addresses each of the required topics and has been benchmarked to meet state curriculum standards," Tucker explained.

The LSU AgCenter expert also said the program teaches basic financial planning concepts that apply to everyday life, and the curriculum used is available at no cost to public and private schools nationwide.

"It is an innovative, hands-on curriculum that provides interesting, contemporary learning materials that will teach students to identify and prioritize their personal money management styles, develop and use a budget, track their income and spending to stay within their budget, understand and calculate the cost of using credit and protect their assets as they begin to accumulate money," Tucker said.

More than 200 teachers already have registered for the free seminars this summer, according to Tucker, but she stressed there still is space available to teachers who are interested.

"The seminars we’re offering are free and open to the public, but advance registration is required," the LSU AgCenter family economist stressed. "We really need to have people registered two weeks in advance of each seminar, so that means the deadline is here for the first seminar on June 29 and not that far away for the others."

To learn more about the seminars and the places they will be offered – or to register for a seminar – visit www.lsuagcenter.com/fcs/HSFPP_training/reg.asp. Or contact Tucker or Donna Shaffers at (225) 578-6701 for additional information.

Approximately 500 teachers were involved in teaching free enterprise classes across Louisiana last year. Those classes involved nearly 35,000 public school students in the 2001-02 school year.

The National Endowment for Financial Education will provide each participant in the seminars this summer with a 400-page instructor’s manual and a student workbook free of charge. Additional student workbooks also may be ordered for each student at no cost.

"In addition, free enterprise teachers who register and complete the HSFPP training will be paid a stipend of $110 for the one-day training," Tucker said, explaining the stipends are being paid from private funds raised by the Louisiana Jump$tart Coalition.

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Contact: Jeanette Tucker at (225) 578-3329 or jtucker@agcenter.lsu.edu
Writer: Tom Merrill at (225) 578-5896 or tmerrill@agcenter.lsu.edu

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