In 1975, State Education Commissioner Ralph Turlington announced the creation of the Florida Council on Economic Education to be headed by Jack Eckerd and Scott Linder, then president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Initial funding of $150,000 came from private donations and leftover funds from the Governor’s Economy and Efficiency Study Commission. The Florida Council would ensure that Florida k-12 students learn about economics and the free enterprise system. From its inception, the FCEE has been affiliated with the Council for Economic Education (formerly the National Council on Economic Education).
The CEE, headquartered in New York, offers a variety of programs and resources, most notably standards-based, classroom-tested instructional materials available for all grade levels. State Councils, like the FCEE, and local, university- and college-based Centers provide professional development courses and workshops for teachers as well as assistance to schools in the development of curricula. Currently, the FCEE supports 4 Centers for Economic Education that train k-12 teachers in economics, entrepreneurship, personal finance and the free enterprise system. All training is correlated to Florida’s Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.
- Gus A. Stavros Center for Economic and Free Enterprise Education at the University of South Florida
- Gus A. Stavros Center for the Advancement of Free Enterprise and Economic Education at Florida State University
- Center for Economic Education at Florida Atlantic University
- Center on Economic and Financial Education at Florida State College at Jacksonville
- Miami Dade College Center for Economic Education
Professional development for teachers achieves an extraordinary multiplier effect, with every elementary teacher reaching 25-30 students each year and middle and high school teachers reaching 125-150 students each semester. Once trained, a teacher is able to integrate economics and personal finance lessons into his or her classroom for years, thus helping to make literally thousands of students economically and financially literate.