Renee Seiler teaches students about the importance of personal finance in their day-to-day lives.
Students learn about the different forms of financial well-being including survival, comfort, and secure.
Personal finance class now required for graduation from PCS
Personal Finance will become a required class for graduation at Perkins County Schools beginning in fall of 2020.
Students in their sophomore year of school in fall 2020 will be the first students affected by this change, and upperclassmen may choose the class as an elective.
In 2017, Nebraska was given a “C” grade from the National Report Card on Financial Literacy in High Schools. This drew concern from the Nebraska Department of Education.
The standards for basic requirements related to personal finance were last updated in 2012, and after the “C” rating those standards were brought into question.
According to the National Bankers Association website, 22 states in the U.S. require students to complete a course in economics, and 17 states require a personal finance course for students to graduate.
Of Nebraska’s 244 school districts, 210 offer personal finance courses. However, only 95 districts require completion of a personal finance class for graduation.
Perkins County Schools is included in the 210 Nebraska schools that offer a personal finance class.
The course used to be called Economics, and has been offered for over 10 years. The class covered economics with an emphasis on personal finance and how economics affect consumers.
Three years ago the name of the class was changed to Personal Finance and is currently offered as an elective for 10th-12th graders.
Legislation regarding the issue of personal finance classes in schools is expected to be introduced in Nebraska Legislature’s current session, which began Jan. 9.
During a strategic planning meeting with parents, staff and teachers, it was discussed that a Personal Finance course should become a requirement for graduation.
Perkins County Schools’ Personal Finance teacher, Renee Seiler, said the class was really pushed during the meeting, and everyone thought it would be a good class for students.
“Personal Finance is a life skill,” said Seiler, “It is definitely something they are going to have to deal with for the rest of their lives, so it is really important that they understand how money works and how it can work for them.”
The class will utilize Dave Ramsey’s “Foundations in Personal Finance” curriculum throughout the course.
This will cover saving, budgeting, credit cards, taxes, mortgages, insurance, investing and more.
Dave Ramsey’s website notes how important knowledge about personal finance is for students, stating it will help students graduate on “sound financial footing” and will set them up to take control of their finances.
“I’m just grateful that our administration is giving us the opportunity to put this in as a requirement, because I really do feel it is important for the students,” said Seiler.