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NC to require personal finance course for HS graduation

ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80128 replies720 threads Senior Member
https://www.wral.com/nc-school-board-eliminates-one-of-two-u-s-history-courses-to-make-room-for-new-personal-finance-class/18877261/

Current history and social studies requirements:

World History
American History I
American History II
American History: Founding Principles, Civics and Economics

Future requirements:

World History
American History
Founding Principles of the United States of America and North Carolina: Civic Literacy
Economics and Personal Finance
26 replies
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Replies to: NC to require personal finance course for HS graduation

  • thumper1thumper1 76460 replies3379 threads Senior Member
    Good!
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  • NJWrestlingmomNJWrestlingmom 1444 replies2 threads Senior Member
    NJ has had that requirement for a few year now.
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  • sciencenerdsciencenerd 1589 replies236 threads Senior Member
    Really? Removing an entire year of social studies for economics and personal finance?
    Economics should be an elective and personal finance can be taught in a month or so.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23817 replies17 threads Senior Member
    Florida has that requirement, but it didn't teach my kids anything about student loans, car loans, how to write a check, interest (earned or paid), taxes, how to run a home.

    I felt it was one of the worst courses they took. Big waste of time and the teacher was an idiot. They pretended they had a job that paid $XXX (usually $25k or $30k per year) and they had a set amount for rent (weren't allowed to split the rent or live at home), had to buy groceries (weren't allowed to buy frozen dinners or live on a low income diet with eggs and ramen), had to pay for water/elec. etc per the family bill. Well, we were living in a townhouse with 3 people and I made a lot more than $25k per year, so my kids were expected to budget like they were living alone, in a townhouse, with utilities for 3 people.

    It was just stupid. My 4th grade girl scouts learned more about budgeting for a camping trip than my kids learned from this class.
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  • izrk02izrk02 505 replies19 threads Member
    edited January 21
    I think they should combine Civics and personal finance, that's what my teachers did. During our economics unit, we learned about personal finance. Because students that take american history (not apush) take 2 years (ah1 is up until civil war, ah2 is post-war), they'd have to put all of the curriculum into 1 year, like they do with APUSH. Or they should just add personal finance to the electives requirements, without replacing anything. That way, it can satisfy the "SS elective" requirement for APUSH students, and it satisfies any elective requirement for non-APUSH students.
    edited January 21
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  • rickle1rickle1 2252 replies18 threads Senior Member
    Conceptually I think it's great to require personal finance. Not so sure about replacing a social stuidies class. Maybe it could replace a non- academic elective. Content is really important, and so is the teacher.

    I used to come in and do a basic compound interest exercise at the parent / job day many school systems have (forget what it's called). Essentially showing the power of compounding, talking about savings, etc. Expected the young kids (grades 2-4) to not really get it but have fun with the numbers (and they did). Was surprised by the 8th graders who had no idea what I was talking about (most of them).

    I think lots of things should be taught at home. Clearly, at least in my experience, parents aren't doing this. Like the idea of it being covered in school. Maybe just a section of a class.
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  • jym626jym626 56541 replies2966 threads Senior Member
    I don’t know what course it should “replace”, but I think its a great idea!
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  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 1783 replies33 threads Senior Member
    If taught well, I think these types of “real world” classes are important and should be a requirement for all graduating HS students. There are too many kids that are book smart but have little to no “street smarts”.
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  • saillakeeriesaillakeerie 2404 replies0 threads Senior Member
    I agree that I am not sure what course it should replace. But it should be required. And it should be meaningful. Parents should teach it but far too many have no clue about basic economics and personal finance.

    Added benefit is it would take much of the garbage that we see in advertising, politics, etc (which feeds off the lack of understanding of economics/finance) off the table.
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  • jenericjeneric 283 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Too late for my kids, but I have no idea why they need an entire year of Civics and an entire year of economics/personal finance. Seems they could have just added it to the original class. I will say that it was great that in the economics portion of the current class, kids always had to do a budget project- they had a salary, loans, rent- had to figure it out. That was the only useful project they did in high school. Problem was, they were freshmen, so too young to get it.
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  • racereerracereer 338 replies1 threads Member
    Personal finance is a requirement at my kids school district in VA. It did not replace a social studies requirement (still 4 years needed). S19 ended up taking it online one summer so he could continue show choir while maintaining his advanced stem curriculum. D23 will probably do something similar.
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  • Darcy123Darcy123 415 replies6 threads Member
    I guess a lot depends on what you're used to - I've never seen US History being a 2 year requirement, so it doesn't see odd to see it as one year. Our State only has a 3 year social science requirement: US History, World History, and Government. They added a financial literacy requirement a few years ago which is only a semester.
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  • SybyllaSybylla 4329 replies56 threads Senior Member
    It was a req for my kids but any kid with a brain took it in summer school/online. It was in the group of classes know as dunderhead classes. I would be horrified to see it as a SS class. The content was terrible IIRC from my kids' whining. As above I am not sure they even touched on real information. I suspect it was a 1/4 credit or something like that.
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 27085 replies176 threads Senior Member
    edited January 22
    Florida has that requirement, but it didn't teach my kids anything about student loans, car loans, how to write a check, interest (earned or paid), taxes, how to run a home.

    Nice idea, but until you are in the real world, a so-called 'real world' is just not relevant.

    Is there any data on school loan debt between kids in states who have Personal Finance courses and those that don't? Or studies comparing students who have completed a PF course taking on credit card debt vs. those with not PF courses ( not likely) But if there was, I'd bet big cyber dollars that such studies would show no difference. The impact of debt on your personal life for example, is one that has to be experienced. 'Tell, not show', does not work for college essays and does not/will not work for PF courses.

    Now, teaching a kid how to balance a checkbook or debit card account can be a fine thing, but snooze. (I'm guessing most adults don't balance their cash bank accounts.)

    As an aside, after reading the OP, I remembered our District leaders were 'shocked, shocked' that the HS reps on the school board admitted during one meeting that the required Health course was a "joke." (And all this time, the Board had been self-congratulating that it was doing something for the health of young people.)


    edited January 22
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  • jenericjeneric 283 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I always thought it was stupid that NC required 2 years of US History- if you take AP you have to find another "Humanities" course to take instead. My kids are at an IB school, it will be interesting to see how they handle this change. I like teaching personal finance- it's probably most helpful in Junior year when kids are looking at colleges. They could teach about loans and debt. Not sure it really needs to be a year long course- do 15 year olds really understand economics? They should have made it half year of civics and half year of personal finance.
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  • bopperbopper 14294 replies101 threadsForum Champion CWRU Forum Champion
    In NJ, AP Economics counted as a personal finance course.
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2799 replies64 threads Senior Member
    Our high school has a consumers ed requirement. Most kids take it over the summer in a three-week condensed class.

    I am 100% in favor of mandating that students learn personal finance. Yet our school's version was deeply disappointing, heartbreaking even, to me on many, many fronts. It wasn't the teacher's fault. She was a junior high teacher taking a summer gig (about six classes run every summer), but she neither designed the curriculum nor made the lesson plans, nor wrote up the assessments.

    They had the kids work in teams to plan a vacation with an unlimited budget. Guess how that turned out.

    Everything was calculated using simple interest. This absolutely drove me up the wall. Yes, I get that there are kids who are very, very bad at math out there. So let them use whatever tool it takes (calculator, amortization table, etc.). Because letting them believe that finance works in simple interest is counter to the long term goals of this kind of class. College loans and borrowing costs weren't covered at all. SMH.

    Don't even get me started on the tax unit.

    The school is otherwise pretty good, which makes it a puzzle why we still have this dinosaur of a curriculum in place. We could literally pick out five parents at random from the pickup circle one afternoon and after a couple of meetings, they'd come up with something much better.
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 27085 replies176 threads Senior Member
    The school is otherwise pretty good, which makes it a puzzle why we still have this dinosaur of a curriculum in place.

    Bcos its only a HS graduation requirement, i.e., it must be taught to the lowest common denominator so the least knowledgeable/prepared/intelligent can still pass. (Colleges don't care about such a course whatsoever.)
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  • MistySteel27MistySteel27 47 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I graduated in ‘96 in Oregon and pf was a requirement for a half year for all juniors. Everybody dreaded taking it but looking back we learned how to balance a check book all about banking and what kind of accounts and loans available and compounding interest. Plus we learned how to invest in stock market and how to watch stocks. There was a section on taxes and how to fill out the paper forms. It was super useful and quite different from the economics and government class that was an entire year. This is a good thing for NC but like anything it’s dependent on the curriculum.
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  • wis75wis75 14266 replies64 threads Senior Member
    edited January 23
    Required class for son's HS- could take in middle school or test out. Son took the test at one point- borrowed the book used. Saved him from a boring semester but I suspect he may have missed some pearls while getting an A instead of some unkown passing grade. All moot now as he does just fine in the real world, managing mundane matters.
    edited January 23
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