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OSSE Adopts Financial Literacy Standards for District of Columbia High School Students

Thursday, March 21, 2024
The new set of standards marks the first time Financial Literacy Standards have been available DC-wide for high school students.

Today, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) adopted Financial Literacy Standards for all DC high school students following a vote from the State Board of Education (SBOE) on Wednesday, March 20, 2024.

“Financial literacy skills are critical for DC students to be fully prepared to pursue and succeed on the life path of their choosing,” said State Superintendent Dr. Christina Grant. “These Financial Literacy Standards ensure that all our high school students have access to the knowledge and skills needed to make strategic and well-advised financial decisions as they consider their future, such as pursuing higher education or entering the workforce. We are proud of the work that went into the development of these standards and grateful for the partnership and collaboration of the State Board of Education to formally adopt these standards.”

The Financial Literacy Standards encompass essential financial knowledge and skills and explore how individual financial circumstances are influenced by personal decisions and systemic factors. Based on the 2021 National Standards for Personal Finance Education, developed by the Council for Economic Education and the Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy, the standards include knowledge and skills standards across five content sections: Earning Income, Saving and Investing, Spending, Credit and Managing Risk.

The finalized standards will help ensure that students know how to:

  • Identify opportunities in Washington, DC for financial support in higher education and career growth.
  • Investigate ethical dimensions of different types of investments and consider environmental factors for large purchases, such as vehicles.
  • Analyze the influence of generational wealth and inherited assets on personal savings and investing.
  • Understand the various forms and functions of taxation and requirements for paying taxes.
  • Create a budget based on different and changing individual inputs, constraints and goals.
  • Analyze factors which impact individual housing decisions, including individual preferences, discriminatory practices, costs, tax credits, budgets and housing availability.
  • Compare and consider the impact of different types of insurance.

Following a robust public comment period, the standards were revised and finalized to incorporate feedback from DC educators and students, national financial literacy experts and other community stakeholders.

OSSE began developing the Financial Literacy Standards in summer 2023. Following a comprehensive stakeholder engagement process, which included student focus groups and the dissemination of a survey, OSSE developed a draft set of standards which were reviewed by a panel of local and national financial literacy experts.

The draft standards were released for public comment in November 2023. During public comment period, which closed in January 2024, OSSE disseminated a survey, hosted two listening sessions and conducted an educator focus group. OSSE also presented the draft standards to the Superintendent’s Advisory Councils and the SBOE Student Advisory Council. Overall, OSSE received 533 unique comments from the survey, engaged with 22 community members and 42 DC educators. OSSE reviewed every comment received actionable feedback from community members to inform revisions to the finalized set of standards.

To view the finalized standards and learn more about the DC Financial Literacy Standards development process, please visit the OSSE Financial Literacy Standards webpage.