Gov. Bill Lee signed a proclamation earlier this year that recognizes October as Economic Education Month in Tennessee.
The designation was petitioned for by the Tennessee Council on Economic and Free Enterprise Education housed in the MTSU Jennings A. Jones College of Business, MTSU Department of Economics and Finance, and state Rep. Charlie Baum, an MTSU economics professor.
Stuart Fowler, interim chair of the Department of Economics and Finance, said the proclamation supports the mission of council, which in part is to promote economic education in K-12 schools.
Fowler noted that while college enrollment rates in Tennessee have increased 161% since 1970, more than 30% of Tennessee high school graduates do not seek post-secondary education immediately out of high school.
“Hence, exposure to economic concepts before graduation is essential. Tennessee is one of only 25 states requiring economics in the high school curriculum and is one of only 12 states with a statewide proclamation,” he said.
“With countless economic challenges that our state will face in the future … education in economics provides students with a framework for making good decisions that will help them and the state.”
Maria Edlin King, director of the Tennessee Council on Economic and Free Enterprise Education, said understanding economic concepts is a foundational skill for an informed citizenry.
“Economics teaches us how to allocate scarce resources and how to live, work, and thrive in a free society,” King said. “An understanding of basic economic concepts assists voters in making informed choices.”
Baum added: “I want to congratulate professor Maria Edlin King and the Jones College of Business for initiating the proclamation of October as economics education month, and I thank Gov. Lee for his prompt approval of this request. This proclamation is important, particularly today, to help our youth better understand their own personal finances, investment strategies, tax policy, and the implications of government debt.”
For more information about the Tennessee Council on Economic and Free Enterprise Education, visit https://www.mtsu.edu/econed/.
— Jimmy Hart (Jimmy.Hart@mtsu.edu)