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Educators react to expansion of personal finance curriculum for Ga. high schoolers

Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 1:27 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Starting next school year, Georgia public high schoolers will learn more about handling personal finances.

Many high schoolers graduate without knowing how to do things like manage a budget, file taxes, or use credit responsibly.

So, the Georgia Board of Education (BOE) decided to expand the curriculum for economics classes in public high schools.

Callie Evans teaches personal finance in Dougherty County but taught economics to seniors for several years as well.

“Some of our students are paying bills at home,” Evans explained. “Some of them have other responsibilities.”

State school superintendent Richard Woods recommended that the BOE approve revisions to the economics course all seniors have to take, which the BOE did earlier this month.

The state is adding in a lot more information about personal finances.

The new course standards go into effect for the 2022-2023 school year.

Callie Evans teaches personal finance in Dougherty County but taught economics to seniors for...
Callie Evans teaches personal finance in Dougherty County but taught economics to seniors for several years as well.(WALB/Zoom)

“What they’re learning in personal finance, they’re going to use for the rest of their lives,” Evans explained.

Dougherty County schools already offered an optional personal finance class for freshmen or seniors, but teachers and school staff said they are glad this new curriculum will be required.

“Some of my students are even working now, and I find with teaching personal finance to them, they’re learning things that pertain to their work life,” said Evans.

Jasmine Dixon is the 6-12 Social Studies coordinator for the Dougherty County School System (DCSS). She explained some topics the students will cover.

Jasmine Dixon is the 6-12 Social Studies coordinator for the Dougherty County School System.
Jasmine Dixon is the 6-12 Social Studies coordinator for the Dougherty County School System.(WALB/Zoom)

“Things like budgeting and saving, which we know is very important,” Dixon said. “Taking those savings and investing those savings into investment opportunities to build wealth.”

They will also learn how to understand and build credit and understand tax forms and student loan applications as well.

Teachers say these are things 18-year-olds either already need to know or will need to know very soon after graduating and entering “the real world.”

“They’re already getting those credit card applications in the mail,” Dixon explained. “They’re already having to apply, some of them, for student loans or financial assistance.”

These educators hope this move will not just benefit the students but empower the entire Dougherty County community.

“In a community of financially literate adults, everyone benefits,” Dixon said. “We really find students with this knowledge of economics and financial literacy...it kind of comes as a great equalizer especially in our community when battling things like generational wealth.”

Governor Brian Kemp called this a “much-needed, common-sense change” that he fully supports.

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