Branstad announces Iowa Financial Literacy Summit

FinancesFrom Press Release


A great education includes knowing how to make smart, responsible financial decisions. As part of a statewide effort to improve students’ financial literacy skills, Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Education today announced they will host an Iowa Financial Literacy Summit this spring and encouraged Iowans to get involved. The summit will be held on May 5 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

“Financial skills are essential, which is why they are included in our state’s academic standards,” Iowa Department of Education Director Brad Buck said. “Still, we must do more to help students understand the power of being financially literate.”

The summit is open to all Iowans, including middle and high school students, parents, and educators. The event will include speeches from Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, and Jack Kosakowski, chief executive officer of Junior Achievement, an organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.

“We know our children need to be financially literate in order to have a bright future,” Branstad said. “We also know that financial literacy is critical for our state’s economic future. Many Iowans, including educators, financial services experts, and elected officials have expressed concerns about the status of financial literacy in Iowa.”

Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds said she witnessed the importance of financial literacy as a former Clarke County treasurer.

“I saw how far too many Iowans struggle to understand their rights and responsibilities when it comes to issues like tax payments and license fees,” Reynolds said. “Success in the 21st century requires being financially literate.”

Further details about the summit will be announced later this month. Tickets are available through April 21. To register, go to:

The summit will be paid for with funding from the Iowa Department of Education, registration fees and generous support from the private sector. Registration for the day is $50, with room for about 500 attendees.

The summit is part of a broader effort to bolster financial literacy awareness and support. That effort started in January 2014, when Buck convened a work team in response to growing concerns about whether Iowa students are learning the financial literacy skills they need to succeed.

The work team, made up of Iowans representing K-12 education, financial services, higher education and the Iowa Department of Education, recommended a review of state financial literacy requirements for K-12 schools as well as a study of how school districts approach financial literacy education. The group also recommended more centralized resources for teachers and tapping financial literacy experts to provide professional development training.