SUMMARY OF GRADE
Significant Accomplishments: Financial Education is integrated into the curriculum of Social Studies and Mathematics in digital lessons
Needs Improvement: Needs to require a high school stand-alone personal finance course and implement grade-specific K-8 financial literacy standards
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK
Puerto Rico Education Reform Law 85-2018 states in Article 1.02, e., 1. that “The educational management of the school must…pursue the student to develop the skills necessary to become the engine of economic development of Puerto Rico. This includes strengthening academic achievement in STEM and STEAM, but also financial knowledge.” Article 2.04, b., 39. of the law also states that “It will include in its teaching curriculum, in accordance with the provisions of the Reorganization No. 5- 2010, issues oriented to the planning and management of finances,” and “the Department will work on the design of the topics in coordination with the Institute of Financial Education of Puerto Rico.” In addition, schools must “collaborate, as far as possible, with the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions, Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Puerto Rico, Inc., the Association of Banks and the Corporation for the Supervision and Cooperative Insurance in the preparation of the material to be used in financial education.
In 2018, the Puerto Rico Department of Education established a Financial Education Program through “alliances with different organizations in the public and private sectors” to “implement an integrated curriculum on Financial Education from Kindergarten through Twelfth grade.” Puerto Rico’s Social Studies standards state that the Social Studies Program will coordinate “workshops on Financial Education and Cooperativism…in a particular way according to the need of each youth cooperative or school campus.” Additionally, junior high and high school teachers can integrate financial education workshops in their classrooms.”
EverFi is the official digital financial education provider for Puerto Rico public schools. In 2018, the partnership with the Puerto Rico Department of Education made “EVERFI’s digital financial curriculum available to every elementary and high school in Puerto Rico.” The Puerto Rico Department of Education links to the EVERFI site specifically for Puerto Rico.313 On the Puerto Rico EVERFI website, there are digital financial education lessons for grade bands 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Additionally, there is a Financial Education for Teachers with additional resources for teachers that provides “critical knowledge and skills” needed to help “teach financial literacy in the classroom.”
Puerto Rico has Integrated Financial Education Lessons under the Social Studies area, with example activities based on grade-level.
Although Puerto Rico has established private/public partnerships in an effort to make financial literacy lessons and objectives accessible to schools, it still receives an “F” as these lessons do not appear to be required and do not include state standards in all grade levels. Puerto Rico should develop a required stand-alone course and ensure grades K-8 integrate personal finance standards in order to raise its grade.