SUMMARY OF GRADE
Significant Accomplishments: K-12 financial literacy standards by grade bands; State financial literacy taskforce
Needs Improvement: Needs to require high school stand-alone personal finance course and implement grade-specific K-8 financial literacy standards
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK
Delaware does not mandate the completion of a personal finance course for high school graduation. However, recent efforts have been made to integrate financial literacy into K-12 curriculum. 2015 Delaware House Joint Resolution No. 4 established a taskforce “to study and make findings and recommendations concerning financial literacy programs and standards, with the intent of developing a regulatory framework that will strengthen financial literacy education in K-12.” The taskforce developed K-12 academic standards in conjunction with the Delaware Department of Education which were approved by the Delaware Board of Education in January 2018. Four standards (Financial Planning and Decision Making; Money Management; Saving and Investing; Risk Protection) are each covered in Grades K-12, broken into K-3, 4-5, 6-8, and 9-12 bands. According to the Delaware Department of Education website in 2019, “a timeline for implementation of these standards will be forthcoming once feedback from districts/schools have been collected.” A representative from the Delaware Department of Education shared that districts were initially expected to implement their locally adopted curricula and programs of study in the 2020-21 school year, but the pandemic altered this timeline and districts/charters are expected to begin implementation in the next school year.
In support of these standards, the Delaware Department of Education works with the University of Delaware’s Center for Economic Education & Entrepreneurship (CEEE) “to develop training for teachers, curriculum resources, and models of implementation.” The CEEE has a number of programs, such as Bank at School, that support the financial literacy education of elementary and secondary students. There is also a calendar of events pertaining to financial literacy.
Delaware receives a “C” for ensuring K-12 financial literacy instruction through its financial literacy standards in grade bands, but not through a high school stand-alone personal finance course. In order to receive an “A,” Delaware must implement grade-specific K-12 financial literacy standards for all students and add a stand-alone personal finance course requirement.