September 28, 2022
As Momentum Builds Toward Creating a Statewide Financial Literacy Requirement State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Leads Webinar to Announce State Funds for Financial Literacy and Funds to Train 1000 Teachers
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond hosted a virtual webinar on September 28 to update local educational agencies (LEAs), including district and charter school administrators and classroom educators, on over $3.6 billion in block grants and other resources to promote financial education in California high schools. He was joined by Tim Ranzetta, Co-Founder of Next Gen Personal Finance, Cheryl Cotton, Deputy Superintendent of Instruction, Measurement, and Administration Branch at the California Department of Education (CDE), and Tara Razi, a personal finance teacher at San Marcos Unified School District, to share the benefits of financial literacy for students.
“This is a great public-private partnership. Parents want this, students want this, teachers want this. Now there’s a $3.6 billion in state funding and $1.4 million in free access to professional development that school districts can use to ensure that all students graduate with basic financial literacy,” said Thurmond. “Through engaging lessons, we can teach students how to manage their finances, avoid debt, and how to make informed and wise choices that will benefit them throughout their lives.”
Hundreds of school districts attended the webinar that provided details on how financial literacy professional development will be offered across the state at no cost. Research shows that students who have access to high-quality financial education have better financial outcomes as adults, resulting in less debt and a higher quality of life. This is why the CDE partnered with California-based nonprofit Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF) to provide teacher stipends and professional development for financial literacy.
This August, Superintendent Thurmond announced he had secured $1.4 million in private funding for teachers in California high schools to receive professional development courtesy of Next Gen Personal Finance to teach financial literacy. This builds on the $3.6 billion Arts, Music, and Instructional Materials Discretionary Block Grant to county offices of education, school districts, charter schools, and the State Special Schools, which can be used to expand financial literacy course offerings. The one-time grant is available for encumbrance through the 2025–26 fiscal year and is allocated on a per-pupil basis.
“I think personal finance and teaching financial literacy is extremely important in preparing students to be future-ready,” said Razi. “One of the biggest things I want to stress to educators that are in this forum is that it’s not difficult to start this class and it will pay off so much for your students to take this course. I am really excited to see this program grow and my hope is that we get more teachers on board to teach it.”
Grant funds will be used to deliver professional development workshops to increase teacher confidence to teach the course. Teachers will receive stipends for their participation, and the first 1,000 California public high school teachers who complete 20 hours of professional development with NGPF will earn a $500 stipend. Teachers can sign up for these professional development workshops via NGPF's Certification Courses , On-Demand , and Virtual PD web pages.
Funds will also be used to catalyze access in the five largest public school districts in the state—Los Angeles, San Diego, Fresno, Long Beach, and San Francisco. Next Gen Personal Finance is offering a matching grant program to help each district hire a personal finance specialist. This specialist will provide curriculum support and professional development to support educators within the district. These districts can receive further details about this grant program by contacting senior project manager Tori Mansfield at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the NGPF curriculum currently being used by more than 4,000 California educators, other high-quality resources are listed on the CDE Grades K–12 Financial Literacy Resources web page. Those interested to learn more can email CFIRD@cde.ca.gov. A full recording of the webinar can be viewed on the CDE Facebook page .
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Tony Thurmond —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100