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The leading voice for excellence in public finance

Thought Leadership Thursday

Financial Education in the Classroom

Tennessee Treasurer David Lillard

Thought Leadership Thursday Article

Financial Education in the Classroom
April 20, 2023
State of Tennessee

Dear Colleagues,

As Tennessee State Treasurer, I know how financial capability drives individuals, families, and our state forward. Through wise and intentional decisions by our General Assembly and Governor, Tennessee has a well-earned reputation for fiscal responsibility. We have created an environment where families can thrive, and a strong foundation in personal finance is fundamental to each citizen’s success.

Over the past 10 years, the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission and its supporters have made strategic investments in financial education to equip Tennesseans with the knowledge and confidence to make informed financial decisions – improving economic trajectories and invigorating local communities.

As part of our Five-Year Strategic Plan adopted in 2021, the Commission piloted several successful new programs over the 2021-2022 school year and enhanced established programs to further their success. In 2022, the Commission raised money to fund professional development opportunities and classroom resources for K-8 teachers and students, public library grants in six of the most economically distressed counties in our state, and digital content and tools for teenage and adult learners. Together, we have delivered 25,000 hours of free professional development to more than 7,500 educators and engaged over 126,000 elementary and middle school students through interactive, web-based financial literacy modules.

To further our vision for every Tennessee student to have access to quality financial literacy resources early and often, as they matriculate through the education system, the Tennessee General Assembly has authorized legislation requiring each K-8 public schools to report annually about its financial literacy efforts giving us greater insight into which schools are currently implementing financial education and the methods that have proved successful for both educators and their students. Additionally, the reports will help us identify schools not offering this vital education to their students so the TNFLC can directly support them to best integrate financial literacy education in their classrooms. The bill is waiting on a signature from our Governor and will go into effect for this upcoming school year.

This is an exciting time in Tennessee! We look forward to sharing the results of these annual reports and how this knowledge will continue to shape the future of financial literacy in our state.


David Lillard
Tennessee State Treasurer

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