The Texas Financial Education Endowment and How It Will Benefit Texans

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Last month the Texas Financial Education Endowment (TFEE) – the first state-administered funding source for broad financial education and asset building services- announced its inaugural round of grants for eligible Texas entities.  The Endowment, administered by the Finance Commission of Texas, was created by the 82nd Legislature as part of legislation (HB 2594) that made some basic reforms to payday and auto title lending. Each state-licensed payday and auto title lender is required to pay an annual assessment to the Endowment to support improved consumer credit, financial education and asset-building opportunities across the state.

Last month the Finance Commission made $250,000 in funds available for the Endowment’s inaugural biennial grant cycle, with grant awards ranging from $5,000 to $40,000.  TFEE’s available grant funds are projected to double by its 2021 grant cycle as the endowment grows from annual assessments and investment returns and because of its statutory structure as an endowment.

Schools, governmental agencies, and for-profit and not-for-profit organizations that promote, provide, or support financial education or financial literacy initiatives will be eligible for grant awards through a competitive application and review process.  However individuals or businesses licensed by, registered with, or regulated by the Finance Commission of Texas are not eligible to receive TFEE grant funds.   For the first grant cycle, the endowment will prioritize funding programs that promote youth financial capability as well as adult financial capability and coaching.  TFEE’s grantmaking guidelines and application are available on its website.  The deadline to apply is October 15.

To help administer the grant program, the Finance Commission created the seven-member Grant Advisory Committee (GAC), which is advising and assisting in the development of new program policies and procedures and will also evaluate grant proposals.  As CPPP’s OpportunityTexas Coordinator, I will be serving on this committee.

Since its creation, CPPP has been working with the Finance Commission to shape the Endowment in ways that maximize the fund’s potential.  To expand the Endowment’s impact in the future, more state-regulated financial services entities could participate through an annual fee assessed by their state regulator. A fixed and ongoing assessment could go a long way towards improving credit scores, increasing college savings account holding, and enhancing K-12 financial education across the state.  Overall, these activities are critical in expanding economic opportunity and increasing financial stability.

At the Center for Public Policy Priorities, we believe in a Texas that offers everyone the chance to compete and succeed in life. We envision a Texas where everyone is healthy, well-educated, and financially secure. We want the best Texas - a proud state that sets the bar nationally by expanding opportunity for all. CPPP is an independent public policy organization that uses data and analysis to advocate for solutions that enable Texans of all backgrounds to reach their full potential. We dare Texas to be the best state for hard-working people and their families.


  • The TFEE sounds like a very beneficial program to be involved with. Focusing on preparing the younger generation for the future is very important if we are to have a future at all. Most all their lives kids are cared for, with no concern for the real world outside their ear buds or bedroom door. In this case, when these kids (for they have not yet had their childish mentality removed) are thrust out into the world with little to no knowledge of how it works they will stumble and fall. Then, being unable to recover themselves, they are tragically blown away into the darkness threatening the future of today. In this darkness, one finds themselves asking, “What future?” as one does not truly exist in this scenario.

    Unless of course we are able to make a future for them.

    It starts with the younger of the generation. Teaching them how the real world works and slowly easing them out of the childish mindset of everything-is-easy is the first step. Once they understand they must work to get what they want, instill in them a drive to work. A sense of accomplishment when a job is completed and a pride when it is done well. Doing this will make them want to a part of reality and get as far as they can in it. If we are able to teach them how the world spins and how to balance on top of it, without becoming dizzy or overwhelmed, we have a chance of by-passing the shades and working out in the bright and beautiful sunlight. Is that not the future most everyone prefers?

    But the future is not only reliant on the children of the world, but instead mainly on the young adults who perhaps have not been taught how to survive or thrive in this new world nearly ready to engulf them. With nothing holding it up, how will the world last long enough for the children to come and support it? So it is necessary, and perhaps far more critical, to educate the soon-to-be adults on how to be, well, adults!

    The only way to do this, however, is to have money that will go directly towards teaching the newer generation such important lessons. Unfortunately it seems that next to now one is able to see the dark and ominous cloud heading our way as the minds of the children and teenagers do not develop with their adult bodies as would naturally be expected. But now perhaps we are taking a reluctant step towards a higher, brighter education. With the TFEE and CPPP providing funds to the education and preparation of the younger generation will in return make for a brighter future, not only for the newer generation but the older generation as well.

    Victoria Renouard 07.10.2013
  • While I worked on this project I learned several things regarding finance and finding a job. Financially I learned that housing, food, and transportation can cost a large sum of money even for a family of one. Finding a job proved to be a harder task than I originally thought it would be.
    For an apartment of 696 square feet it costs $790 a month. This is with just the basic amenities to sustain a household. With just enough food for a mildly healthy diet it costs a family of one $200 a month to shop at one of the cheaper stores in the area. I can see how easy it is to only buy the cheapest junk food available to sustain your family. An older car with 237,807 miles on it costs $2,594 and when you add car insurance to this volatile mixture you get costs of over $350 a month not including cost of maintenance.
    After hours and hours of exhaustive searching I found a job that fit me. As an Inside / Outside Sales Representative for an internet marketing company I would make a base salary of $24,000 a year and when you add the commission structure it ends up being $40,000- $100,000 a year. I was one of the luckier people and I had some extra money every month to help insulate any disasters that might occur.

    Mack F. 08.10.2013

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