It’s refreshing to receive an invitation to discuss education policy: A lesson for lawmakers

This Sunday on Spectrum airing at 11:30am and 8:30pm you can watch the episode of In Focus with Loretta Boniti where Lauren Piner and I discuss our concerns about the Economics and Personal Financial Literacy Act. The lawmakers on the show did not expect teachers to have been invited to give our perspective about this law. We are thankful that Loretta Boniti thought to include us and look forward to a day when including teachers in the development of education policy is not an oversight, afterthought, or deliberate exclusion among our lawmakers.

I care about students’ personal financial literacy so much that empowering students with this knowledge as a Civics and Economics teacher is how I pay my bills.

This law is a case study in disruptive education legislation that excludes education experts, and ignores them even when face-saving compromises are offered Furthermore, it fosters the victim-blaming narrative by blaming poverty and debt on personal choices only, without regard for working to expand and improve the options from which to choose.

Despite this law’s passage, I would like to thank the 3 lawmakers in the Senate and 39 in the House who voted against this bill because they listened to our concerns, and recognized the validity of those concerns.

For more information about our experience during this process, and takeaways for work in future advocacy efforts, read this piece by Angela Panel Scioli

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