OCEE Hosts Personal Finance Institute for Teachers

The Oklahoma Council on Economic Education offered the first Personal Finance Institute for classroom teachers June 25-29.  The week-long course sponsored by the Wal-Mart Foundation included an in-depth study of the standards within Oklahoma’s Passport to Financial Literacy legislation which requires all students graduating in 2014 to successfully complete 14 areas of instruction in personal finance.

“Thank you so much for the Personal Finance Institute that you put together. What an amazing week of speakers and learning!  We had a great time and learned so much.  You are doing great things to help get students on track for a better financial future.  I am much better prepared to teach personal finance this year and cannot wait to get started!  We appreciate all you are doing to contribute to us as teachers so that we can pass on information to our students,” said Amy Smith, a personal finance teacher at Balko High School in the panhandle of Oklahoma.

Ken Young, a teacher at Edmond North High School said “this is the best educational workshop I have attended in my 13 years as an Oklahoma public educator!  Outstanding program that is a must attend session for personal finance educators.”

Daily sessions during the Institute addressed the Oklahoma State Standards for Personal Finance through:  on-site tours of successful businesses that significantly impact the Oklahoma economy, expert speakers who deal with financial issues on a daily basis, lessons from state government officials and other experiential and interactive learning opportunities. Teachers traveled to the Federal Reserve Bank to hear from Chad Wilkerson the Bank’s Oklahoma City Branch Executive and economist about the state of the economy and then to the State Capitol to hear from State Representative Gary W. Banz and Deputy State Treasurer Tim Allen how state tax revenue is invested and allocated by Oklahoma government officials.  “Understanding economics and having more knowledge of topics like these will directly tie to the personal finance concepts these teachers will be applying in their classrooms,” said D.J. Thompson, executive director of OCEE.  “Understanding the role of government in a market economy can help individuals make informed decisions regarding social and political policies and makes us better overall citizens,” Thompson added.

Other speakers during the Institute included experts from the Oklahoma Bankers Association-Fraud Prevention Department, Womack Investment Advisers, mortgage and home buying experts with the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS, Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Central Oklahoma, representatives from Citizens Bank of Edmond, Tinker Federal Credit Union, Remington Park, United Way of Central Oklahoma and the Homeless Alliance.

“The primary objective of the Institute was to help teachers gain a richer content knowledge in economics and personal finance than they would through the typical workshop experience,” Thompson said.   We also hoped they would connect with important community leaders and get new ideas for their classroom and resources for their students,” Thompson added.