Jackson, MS. Today, at the Mississippi Council for Economic Education (MCEE) Forum on American Enterprise, Treasurer Lynn Fitch and Attorney General Jim Hood announced a new two-year partnership including the Mississippi Council on Economic Education (MCEE) and Mississippi State University Extension Service to advance financial education in Mississippi schools and communities, Making Sense of Your Dollars and ₵ents.
“MCEE has been a tremendous partner in my financial education initiative, TEAM, from the very beginning,” said Treasurer Lynn Fitch, who launched the public-private partnership Treasurer’s Education About Money (TEAM) into high schools and middle schools across the State three years ago. “Together, we have trained more than 1,200 teachers in just 3 years, who can not only teach financial education curriculum, but also incorporate these lessons into classes of all types and for all ages. This exciting new initiative with the Attorney General will help expand on these efforts to bring this important life skill into even more classrooms across Mississippi.”
“Our office’s Consumer Protection Division interacts with people daily who have been taken advantage of or scammed out of their hard-earned money, and we hope this new financial literacy program will prevent those types of problems on the front end,” said General Hood. “In fact, this program is funded by settlements from banks and credit rating agencies who have caused extreme financial burden to Mississippians through their deceptive practices. We are proud to be teaming up with Treasurer Fitch, MCEE, and Mississippi State Extension Services to be a part of the solution to our state’s financial literacy problem.”
“MCEE is so thankful for the opportunity to work with both Treasurer Fitch and General Hood on the mission of creating Mississippi citizens that are financially literate,” said Selena Swartzfager, president of MCEE. “Every teacher in Mississippi wanting professional development related to how they can teach their students financial literacy will have access to this training at no cost over the next two years. In addition to providing the educator training, we will provide the curriculum for use in the classroom and continuing education units for the teachers. Educators simply need to connect with us by going to our website (www.mscee.org) and sign up for the weekly newsletter where we announce opportunities for teachers and students.”
“There is a great need across our state for bringing financial coaching into our communities,” said Dr. Becky Smith, Director of MSU Extension Center for Economic Education and Financial Literacy. “Our portion of this project will look at financial literacy from the lens of community and economic development, where we will train community leaders to take into account the individual’s financial needs by implementing this education into services they already deliver.”
Making Sense of Your Dollars and ₵ents is funded through a legal settlement with three credit rating agencies and two financial institutions for violations of consumer protection laws, for a total of $2.5 million over two years. The program will focus on (1) expanding teacher training at all K-12 levels, (2) providing incentives to teachers and schools to incorporate financial education into their students’ studies, (3) supporting teachers with innovative in-classroom and out-of-classroom learning experiences for their students, and (4) building a financial wellness network and implementing financial coaching through community leaders to meet individual needs.