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Legislature changes require financial education for school curriculum

Numerica Employee teaching a classroom of students about financial education


New financial education standards become a required part of Washington’s school curriculum

What used to be reading, writing and arithmetic is now science, technology, engineering and math, but the Washington state superintendent has now included financial education in that focus.

Under the bill signed by Governor Jay Inslee in 2015, Washington State joins 20 other states in requiring financial education incorporation into existing K-12 learning requirements.

In response to the changing learning requirements, West Valley High School has partnered with Spokane Valley-based Numerica Credit Union to provide a series of lectures to meet requirements for graduating seniors. Numerica coordinates speakers, resources and other assistance to cover financial topics in an effort to reduce the stress of an already heavy workload that teachers face. More than 180 West Valley seniors completed the program which covered multiple topics, including budgeting, fraud, credit, and investing.

“I’d rather learn about this [money topics] than parabolas,” said senior Bennet Moore. “These classes actually are going to help in the real world, so we know what to do and is something we can use every day.”

The standards are the first of their kind in Washington and can be integrated into classroom activities. Cheryl Perry, a teacher at West Valley High School has worked with Numerica over the last three years.

“Classes were previously taught over nine weeks in the Advanced Marketing class,” says Perry. “This year we took a different approach by bringing all of the seniors together for a group learning session to see how financial topics will impact their lives beyond high school.”

In 2016, Numerica taught at more than 25 high schools and community organizations, teaching nearly 300 hours of financial education through the Inland Northwest and Central Washington.

“Having Numerica come and teach is cool because they cover topics that are most important,” said Moore. “I could Google it, but how do you know what to look for if you don’t know [the topics].”

More information about Numerica’s financial education program and to request a visit can be found on the Numerica website.

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