Virginia Leads The Way in Economics and Personal Finance Education.
Virginia is a national leader in economics and personal finance education, having adopted a required class for high school graduation beginning with the class of 2015. The economics and personal finance class became a statewide requirement as educators and business leaders came together on the need for economics to help students be better informed citizens and personal finance so that they could take control of their financial futures.
The year-long class in economics and personal finance makes students better informed citizens, consumers and employees. Virginia’s approach recognizes how economics and personal finance are closely connected — unlike the approach of other states that require only economics or personal finance but not both. The Virginia approach also recognizes the importance of devoting an entire course to these subjects, instead of embedding them in other classes where they may be neglected. The major topics are identified below.
Economics Education Creates Students Who Are Better Informed Citizens, Consumers and Employees.
- Economic Decision-Making: How students can explore the benefits and costs of decisions, both for themselves individually and for their city, state and nation.
- Economic Systems: How the rules of the game influence economic outcomes, including the nature of command and market economies and the role played by capitalism and free enterprise, moderated by sound governmental institutions.
- Producers and Consumers in a Market Economy: The roles we all play in producing the nation’s output, the resulting incomes, and how consumers spending their incomes direct the allocation of goods and services.
- The Price System: Basics of supply and demand, how prices are determined, and how prices influence behavior in getting goods and services to market.
- How Businesses Are Organized: The contributions made by individual proprietors and entrepreneurs, business operating as partnership, and corporations owned by shareholders but managed by executives day-to-day.
- What Will Determine My Income: The roles played by individual productivity, talent, and market and governmental institutions in determining incomes.
- The Role of Government in a Market Economy: How governments provide the basic institutions needed for the flourishing of a market economy, and what happens when governments and markets fail.
- How Does the Health of the Economy Affect You? Effects of the economy taken as a whole (the macroeconomy) on individual choice and decision-making.
- Monetary and Fiscal Policy: How the government uses control of money and the banking system (monetary policy) and spending and the budget (fiscal policy) to influence the course of the macroeconomy.
- We Are Part of the Global Economy: The benefits and costs of international trade in bringing the world’s products to our doorsteps, with the mixed effects of making the world’s economies more interconnected.
Understanding Personal Finance Enables Students To Better Control Their Future.
- Goals, Saving, Interest and Banking: The transition from economics to personal finance, with emphasis on individual financial goals and the personal importance of saving, interest and the banking system.
- Investment & Saving Planning: How individuals can save and invest, foregoing current consumption to build a more secure financial future by taking advantage of the opportunities offered by financial intermediaries.
- Labor Markets, Human Capital and Income: The effects on income of career choice, the supply and demand for different kinds of labor, and the increase of knowledge, skills and abilities coming from building human capital.
- Taxes: How taxes raise revenue to support government expenditure while influencing economic behavior and decision-making.
- Budgeting and Consumer Skills: The abilities of consumers to plan their spending with a budget, spend sensibly, and achieve a high degree of satisfaction for a given level of income.
- Planning for Living and Leisure: How a personal lifestyle is the product of deliberate decisions aimed at a high quality of life that maximizes satisfaction.
- Credit: Material on how borrowing can be a strategic tool for increasing lifetime satisfaction – but only if credit pitfalls that lead to excessive indebtedness are avoided.
- Events Affecting the Plan: How a lifetime financial plan is affected by major life events, foreseen and unforeseen.
Successful Graduates of this Course Have a Solid Foundation Successfully Navigate a Market Economy.
Teachers, if you would like to improve your teaching of this class – or if you have just been assigned to teach this class for the first time – there are many materials and professional development opportunities to help you along the way. Please contact John Kruggel and let him know how we can help you be more effective in teaching economics and personal finance.