DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
SUMMARY OF GRADE
Significant accomplishments: District of Columbia Financial Literacy Council
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
The District of Columbia Public Schools do not require a personal finance course or a course embedded with personal finance for high school graduation. The District of Columbia Social Studies Pre-K through Grade 12 standards include a “Principles of Economics” elective course, but the elective has no specific financial literacy standards. There are not personal finance standards for the Grades K-8 Social Studies standards, although the economics standards embedded within do occasionally contain personal finance components.
The Council of the District of Columbia established the District of Columbia Financial Literacy Council through a 2008 act. In the District of Columbia Financial Literacy Council’s 2014 Strategic Recommendations and Financial Literacy Implementation Report, amongst other recommendations, the Council urged “the District of Columbia State Board of Education to adopt a specific set of academic standards for financial literacy education and for the Office of the State Superintendent of Education to ensure the integration of financial literacy education within the city’s public school and public charter school curriculum.” However, the District of Columbia State Board of Education failed to integrate any financial literacy instruction following the recommendations.
The District of Columbia receives an “F,” as it fails to provide any financial literacy instruction. The District of Columbia needs to adopt the recommendations of the District of Columbia Financial Literacy Council and implement grade-specific K-8 personal finance standards. In order to further improve its grade, the District of Columbia should require a stand-alone personal finance course for high school graduation.