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DFI, DPI Announce $150,000 Financial Literacy Grant Program for K-12 Education

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


Tom McCarthy, DPI Communications Director, (608) 266-3559
Tom Evenson, (608) 261-4504

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) today announced a $150,000 statewide grant program to encourage Wisconsin’s K-12 school districts to incorporate personal finance education into their curricula.

“This grant program offers an exciting opportunity for schools to build new programs and teach children about the world of personal finance,” Governor Scott Walker said. “Through continued efforts from community leaders and government we can give our children the tools they need to take control of their financial futures and achieve their dreams in Wisconsin.”

The application deadline is April 20, 2016. DPI, which is administering the program, will begin accepting nominations March 1. The application is online at Award recipients will be notified by e-mail on May 31, 2016. Grant money will be made available to grantees on July 1, 2016.

“Financial literacy is a skill that affects so many different aspects of adult life,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “Giving our kids access to personal finance courses during their school years helps better prepare them for success in college and career. I would encourage educators and district leaders not currently offering financial literacy to explore applying for this grant.”

The intent of this program is to support the efforts of individual teachers and school districts to begin new and sustainable financial literacy programs and events. Teachers in K-12 school districts are eligible to apply for awards of up to $10,000 and may submit proposals for each school level – elementary, middle, and high schools. Project proposals that focus on addressing student loan debt or on improving college and career readiness of students through new and creative programs will be given priority.

“More than 60 percent of Wisconsin’s school districts now require a course in personal finance; that’s up from just 25 percent six years ago,” DFI Secretary Lon Roberts said. “Wisconsin is making financial literacy a priority and DFI is proud to play a role in this effort. I thank Dr. Evers and his team at DPI for their assistance in this process.”

The $150,000 financial commitment from the DFI comes from settlement funds received over the last few years.

A subcommittee of the Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy will review recommendations from DPI and select the final award recipients. Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • The nature of the expected outcome from the project and the degree to which they are measurable.
  • The number of students impacted by the project.
  • Sustainability and the degree that the proposal includes parents, volunteers, and other members of the community.
  • Matching financial support from the school or other partners in the community.
  • Degree the project is realistic, innovative, experiential, educational, and engaging.
  • Degree it enhances student experiences and curriculum delivery.
  • Level of innovation and creativity to enrich existing services and programs.
  • Cost effectiveness.
  • All proposals must indicate how they support approved academic curriculum and integrate Wisconsin’s Model Academic Standards on Personal Financial Literacy.

Under a similar program conducted in 2014, 26 Wisconsin school districts were awarded a total of $350,000 for financial literacy programs.

Official Release