About Us

Youth Financial Literacy in Utah

The Utah State Board of Education and Legislature have taken bold steps to empower the state’s youth with financial knowledge that will lead to future stability and success in homes and the economy.  These steps include:


How was Finance in the Classroom developed?

In the 2000s, Utah was one of the top states for bankruptcy and debt. Financial experts and community leaders were concerned about the future economic prosperity of Utahns. These individuals joined forces with policymakers to pass S.B. 154 in 2003, establishing the nation’s first financial education high school graduation requirement. USBE approved the one-semester financial literacy class in 2004, making Utah's graduating class of 2008 the first group of students in the nation to graduate having taken a mandated financial literacy class.

In 2008, legislation sponsored by Senator Pat Jones (S.B. 61) was signed into law requiring that Financial and Economic Education be taught in grades K-12 through the core areas of Math, Social Studies, and Language Arts. Included in this legislation was the Financial and Economic Education Passport, which in theory, was a mechanism to recognize students for completing age-appropriate activities and lessons. In practice, the Passport could not be implemented as intended due to funding and technology deficiencies. The Passport mandate was removed from law during the 2019 legislative session. However, financial and economic education in all grades is still statutorily required.

To help teachers in all grades prepare to teach a new subject, USBE and Utah Education Network jointly received a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Public Media Innovation Fund in 2008. This resulted in a partnership wherein USBE provides professional review and grade assignment of resources, and UEN provides technical assistance to design, populate, and maintain the Finance in the Classroom website. Under the direction of USBE, groups of teachers designed a matrix assigning legislated financial and economic concepts to each grade level. Lessons, activities, PowerPoints, videos, books, music, and other resources were compiled to help teachers teach financial literacy. Over the years, Finance in the Classroom became outdated. In 2023, USBE launched an effort to update the website to meet the current needs of educators.

New instructors have consistently expressed over the years that they are overwhelmed by available resources and a lack of curated lesson plans, as highlighted in a 2018 program review conducted by the state auditor and state treasurer. The updated Finance in the Classroom websites helps address this need.

Finance in the Classroom helps Utah’s dedicated K-12 teachers to effectively incorporate financial literacy concepts into their instruction with comprehensive online resources and community awareness regarding the value of this instruction.  



Finance in the Classroom Task Force Leaders

Breckon Heywood
Financial Literacy & Career and Technical Education Specialist
Utah State Board of Education
Brittany Griffin
Policy and Communications Deputy
Utah State Office of the Treasurer
Susan Speirs
Utah Association of CPA’s & Jump$tart Board Member


Project Lead

Amanda H. Christensen
AFC & Professor
Utah State University Extension

Website Designer

Jessica Anderson
Senior Web Designer
Utah Education Network


Elementary Sub Committee

Melony Gordon
Weber School District
Emily Peterson
Morgan School District
Shelly Prettyman
Granite School District
Whitney Foley
Vice President Communications
Junior Achievement Utah and Idaho
Ania McGrath
Communications and Outreach Programs Manager
Utah State Office of the Treasurer
Karece Thompson
Outreach Specialist
Utah State Office of the Treasurer


Secondary Sub Committee

Janell Bowles
Juab School District
Heather Woffinden
Alpine School District
Sam Soter
Canyon School District
Devin Shakespear
South Sanpete School District
Holly Ford
Alpine School District
April Warby
Murray School District


Parents/Community Sub Committee

Melanie Jewkes
Utah State University Extension
Jenny Sass
Marketing Specialist
Amanda Morton
Vice President of Relationship Development
Cyprus Credit Union
Jolene Wyler
Director UWIPS & Program Coordinator of ABLEUtah
Department of Workforce Services
David Damschen
Utah Housing Corporation
Reyce Knutson
Communications Specialist
Utah Housing Corporation
Ania McGrath
Communications and Outreach Programs Manager
Utah State Office of the Treasurer
Karece Thompson
Outreach Specialist
Utah State Office of the Treasurer