In a world dominated by debt, NKC schools teach financial literacy to students

Jim Cunningham
November 08, 2018 - 6:49 am

In a country that is drowning in trillions of dollars in consumer debt, more and more people are calling on educators to offer courses in personal finance.

Students in Missouri public high schools are required to take a personal finance course. It has been a requirement since 2006. Jim Cunningham talked to students at one metro school who are learning how to better manage their money.

Lajahda Boyland's mother taught her how to be responsible with money. 

"She taught me to always take care of your bills and stuff first, before you start buying personal stuff," said Boyland, a senior who takes personal finance at North Kansas City High School. The class includes more advanced topics.

"They teach you how to be smart with your money, like not just spending it on food, clothes or shoes, but actually putting it in places that teach you to be more responsible with it," Boyland said. 

Kelsey Butler teaches the Personal Finance class, which covers income, money management, investing and saving and credit and financing. The curriculum touches on typical teen expenditures, like entertainment, food and clothing.

"We're trying to teach them that one small change in their spending can make a huge difference, whether it be not eating out every week, and cooking at home, the difference that can make in the long run," Butler said.

Several students started an investors club through the school's DECA program. Sophomore Isaiah Steward says he picked up on investing from his Dad.

"He wants me to know everything he knows now, so I could do what he does, but do it better, do it more efficiently, at a younger age," Steward said.

Steward says the project promotes financial literacy.

We have to set out and talk to kids, show them how to save how to invest, show them all the options they can take, to increase their money, save their money," Steward said.

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