Balancing Your Checkbook for Math Class

9 years 11 months 5 days ago October 26, 2006 Oct 26, 2006 Thursday, October 26 2006 Thursday, October 26, 2006 3:24:41 PM CDT in News

It looks like any other classroom, But this isn't your normal math or english class. Rockbridge students are learning something a little different, "stocks, and bonds, and mutual funds."

Hayley Harper is a junior at Rock Bridge. She doesn't have a job but she plans to get one soon.

"And, I just thought it would be important to learn how to manage my money," Harper said.

She has a choice to take this personal finance class. But the freshmen at her school don't. Missouri is now requiring every student starting with the class of 2010 to take a financial planning class to graduate.

"In college it's not going to be a required course," said teacher Ben Loeb. "At least not any college that I know of, so they need to get those basics now."

"It's learning how do you start saving money in high school," explained Nancy Headrick, of the Department of Elementry and Secondary Education.

For many students the first time they'll use an ATM in high school. The state says it's important they have a class to teach them how to do that.

"And sharing with students exactly how the financial decisions that they make on a daily basis impacts their life everyday," said Headrick.

To get a step ahead before time slips away.

"When they go to college they're going to be more on their own and more in a position they have to manage their finances," Loeb said.

But this class is supposed to reach far beyond college.

"Stop and think about the debt that people are accumulating every year," Headrick said.

This curriculum hopes to cut that down for these students.

"We need to learn how to budget our money properly," said Hayley. "And what we need to do to make ends meet."

And Hayley and her classmates, Mr. Loeb, and the state are hoping this class will make it a little easier.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary education is tracking students through online surveys to see how this course works.

Part of the plan is to research the long-term effects of requiring a personal finance class.

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