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RIDE supports several blogs throughout our website where Rhode Islanders and RIDE staff share their thoughts.

On this page, we have collected all of the blogs on our site - many of which share posts from Rhode Island educators other than RIDE staff. Blogs are listed in alphabetical order:

  • Commissioner's Corner: Blog posts and messages from the Commissioner to the Rhode Island community.
  • District Teacher of the Year (DTOY): Posts from the Rhode Island District Teachers of the Year, past and present, who share about instructional successes and challenges they encounter in Rhode Island classrooms.
  • Equitable Access to Excellent Educators: Rhode Island educators and RIDE staff explore factors and perspectives on the importance of ensuring that all students are taught by high quality educators.
  • Leadership: Reflections and insights from RIDE’s Leadership Fellow and other district and school leaders on the challenges and opportunities of being a school leader.
  • Rhode Island Poet Laureate: Reflections and poetry focused on teaching, learning, and the experience of education from Tina Cane, Rhode Island Poet Laureate.
  • Rhode Island Science Education (R.I.S.E.): A communication blog to update stakeholders in education and in the community on important developments, events and accomplishments in science education in Rhode Island.
  • Student Voice: Because student voice is an essential component of our discussion on education, RIDE will post essays written by students from around Rhode Island.

Click on a category below to filter by a particular blog:

Important Year for Financial Literacy in Rhode Island

Posted by: Kamlyn Keith on 6/7/2019
Richard Garland
2019 North Kingstown District Teacher of the Year
North Kingstown High School
Business, Finance, and Economics Teacher

In 2003, the United States Senate declared April “Financial Literacy for Youth Month.” A year later in March 2004, the United States Senate passed Resolution 316 to officially recognize April as “National Financial Literacy Month.” While some may greet the event in celebration, for the majority of America – such as the roughly sixty percent of working age individuals who do not own any retirement account assets – it is a call for action: an educational intervention for financial literacy to be taught, at the least, in all public schools… and yes, as a requirement.

For Rhode Island, such a small state, the stats are sobering… Here’s why:

  • We have the second highest percentage of unbanked households in New England.
  • Our rate of delinquent mortgage loans is the ninth highest in the nation.
  • College graduates from Rhode Island have the second highest student debt burden in the country.

I’m a teacher. After “graduating” from a 32-year career in the private sector, I now teach business, finance, and economics. From my experience, when faced with a procedural problem in business, we would first identify the root cause and from there apply the fix, guaranteeing stability going forward while allowing us to concentrate on fixing the past. We called it “stop the bleeding.”

The absence of financial literacy can cause damage across each stage of a person’s life. Today’s high school students are making financial decisions in their teens that will affect their financial health for decades to come. Guaranteeing them an education in financial literacy at this early age “stops the financial bleeding” and offers our youths – our emerging leaders – economic opportunities for the future that would otherwise be lost.

I often like to quote John Pelletier, director of the Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College: “We would not allow a student to get in the driver’s seat of a car without requiring driver’s education. Yet we allow our citizens to enter the complex financial world without any financial education … (without it), history will mock us and force our children and grandchildren to live through another horrible financial and economic crisis.”

There are 36 states in the U.S. that guarantee access to personal financial education in their public-school curriculum. Rhode Island is on its way to being one of them. This is the year for Rhode Island.

Inspired by the work of Treasurer Seth Magaziner and his staff, and sponsored by Senator Sandra Cano, Representative John McNamara, and others, Senate Bill No. 112 / House Bill No. 5033 calls for financial literacy to be required in public schools within an achievable timeframe. I urge my fellow teachers and also the entire community of Rhode Islanders to support the bill whether still in play in the house or in the process of implementation.

To learn more about the legislation, and for the source of much of my data, please visit treasury.ri.gov/fallenbehind.

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