Jeanette A. Tucker, Merrill, Thomas A. | 6/17/2005 11:26:24 PM
The LSU AgCenter is helping teachers learn more about financial management again this summer, so they, in turn, can share what they’ve learned with students next year.
The series of educational programs being offered again this summer are part of an ongoing effort intended to help Louisiana high school students become more financially literate.
State law 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 12 different workshops across the state this summer. The workshops, which begin June 22 and conclude July 20, will be offered at various locations again this summer.
"The teachers who take part this summer are enhancing their capacity to teach personal finance," said LSU AgCenter family economist Dr. Jeanette Tucker. "We’re covering topics free enterprise teachers are specifically required to teach like income, money management, spending and credit, and savings and investing."
According to results of a 2004 national survey conducted by the Jump$tart Coalition For Personal Financial Literacy, Louisiana teens correctly answered only 46 percent of 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 positive things 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 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.
Many teachers already have registered for the free seminars this summer, according to Tucker, but she stressed there is still space available to teachers who are interested. In addition, the LSU AgCenter expert said teachers who participate can apply for "continued learning" units that apply to their careers.
"The seminars we’re offering are free and open to the public, but advance registration is required," Tucker stressed. "Although the first seminar is coming up soon, our goal is to have people registered two weeks in advance of each seminar."
The seminars will be offered June 22 in Mandeville, June 23 in Hammond, June 28 in West Monroe, June 29 in Shreveport and in Baton Rouge, June 30 in Alexandria, July 6 in Luling, July 7 in Jena, July 12 in Crowley/Rayne, July 14 in Houma, July 19 in Metairie and July 20 in Lake Charles.
To register or to learn more about the locations, visit www.huec.lsu.edu/hsfpp or contact Jeanette Tucker or Donna Shaffers at (225) 578-6701 for additional information.
The National Endowment for Financial Education will provide each participant in the seminars this summer with a 400-page instructor’s manual and a 115-page student workbook free of charge. Additional student workbooks also may be obtained for each student at no cost.
Free enterprise teachers who register and complete the HSFPP training also 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.