Only 2% of high school teachers have any economics classes on their college transcript. However, many of these teachers are later called upon to teach economics in high school. Teachers testified at the Senate E-12 Finance Committee hearing this week about the complete lack of help available to economics teachers for many years – until help arrived from the Minnesota Council on Economic Education (MCE).
The Council on Economic Education offers courses for teachers on economics and teaching methods. Teachers testified at the hearing about the effectiveness of these courses and the support they’ve received from the Council’s programming. A Cargill, Inc. economist who serves on MCE also testified at the hearing about the curriculum they teach and how it has very real-world applications. MCE brings these practical and critical thinking skills to teachers, students, and parents. MCE advocates also argued the council is helping close the skills gap, and is working to gain access to underserved communities and school districts across the state.
This bill would provide a $500,000 grant over the biennium to the Council to fund staff development for teachers. The staff development would be provided to help teachers implement economic education standards in related areas. Economic education is currently a part of the social studies standards.
The funds would be used for the Commissioner of Education to develop parameters for the staff development program. (S.F. 195)