Thurmond Unveils Financial Literacy Grants

California Department of Education
Press release

California Department of Education
Press release

Exit: #22-40
August 18, 2022

SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced he has secured $1.4 million in additional private funding for California high school teachers to help them provide financial literacy courses. He was joined in a virtual press conference by Tim Ranzetta, co-founder of Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF), a California-based nonprofit that partners with the state to provide stipends teachers and professional development for financial literacy. This public-private partnership provides $1.4 million in professional development grants to train high school teachers, enabling them to offer personal finance electives in their high schools and a district matching grant program to personal finance specialists.

Research shows that students who have access to high-quality financial education have better financial outcomes as adults, which translates to less debt and a better quality of life. According to an NGPF report, while 70% of high school students nationwide have access to a personal finance elective or guaranteed course, only 26% in California do. Superintendent Thurmond is working to change that.

“Financial literacy gives students a way to learn in a very convenient and hands-on way. Financial literacy is especially critical in an era of rising inflation, when many families face tough economic choices. These courses will increase our students’ awareness and enable them to live a debt-free life and make better financial choices,” Thurmond said. “There are also academic benefits for our students, and these courses can align with our A–G requirements. We know Californians live with a very high cost of living, lots of poverty and lots of challenges, and we think these are tools that will help improve the lives of our young people – maybe even engaging them in ways that will make them more excited about what they are learning in math, science, and other subjects. »

In addition to the NGPF grant, the 2022-23 state budget provides a $3.5 billion discretionary block grant for arts, music, and educational materials to county offices of education, districts state schools, charter schools and special schools. These block grant funds will be available to complement the NGPF grant and support schools’ ability to expand financial literacy course offerings. The one-time grant can be allocated throughout the 2025-2026 fiscal year and is awarded per student.

“I want to reiterate how tremendously grateful I am and how our organization is to Superintendent Thurmond for his vision and leadership in forming this partnership,” Ranzetta said. “We are extremely proud to be part of a plan to provide our California high school students with the knowledge they need to thrive and thrive in the financial world we inhabit.”

Grant funds will be used to provide professional development workshops to increase teachers’ confidence in teaching the course. Teachers will receive stipends for their participation. Starting today, the first 1,000 California public high school teachers who complete 20 hours of professional development with NGPF will receive a $500 stipend. Teachers can register for these professional development workshops through the NGPF certification courses
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On demand
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and virtual PD

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The 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 offers 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 in the district. These districts can receive more details about this grant program by contacting Tori Mansfield, Senior Project Manager, at [email protected]

In addition to the NGPF curriculum currently used by more than 4,000 California educators, other high-quality resources are listed on the California Department of Education’s Financial Literacy Resources webpage.

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Tony Thurmond – State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last revised: Thursday, August 18, 2022

Louis R. Hancock