Alberta seeking organizations to teach financial literacy to students

The government of Alberta is calling for proposals for $1 million in grants to deliver financial literacy training in schools. 

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange announced Wednesday that the province is looking for organizations which can work with schools to teach skills like investing, budgeting, and managing debt to students in junior and senior high school. 

These courses would be slated to begin in schools across the province in the fall, LaGrange said. 

“Understanding how money works is extremely necessary,” the minister said. “We owe it to our students to give them a comprehensive understanding of real world problems and more importantly, give them the tools to overcome them.”

The grant proposals are open to single organizations or groups up to a total of $1 million. 

Enriched Academy and Junior Achievement, two education organizations, have already been doing similar work with thousands of students in Alberta from grades 4 to 12. 

The two were recipients of $375,000 in grants from the provincial government last year. 

The Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) is skeptical about the approach of looking for third parties.

“I don’t understand why this needs to be contracted out to a third party in schools when we have teachers who have been teaching this all along and could use the resources and the assistance within schools right now,” Jason Schilling, the president of the ATA, said. 

He added that while expanded financial literacy is a positive, he has concerns. 

“I’m just worried we’re spending education dollars that could be going into supporting teachers and curriculum within schools.”

Financial literacy was also part of the NDP’s draft curriculum proposed in 2018 when they were in government. 

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