By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
District eyes financial literacy requirement
Placeholder Image
MONROE - The Monroe school board will consider whether it should require a half-credit in financial literacy to graduate from Monroe High School.

Financial literacy involves personal finance matters and making sound personal financial decisions. The district formed a committee last year to study how to meet financial literacy requirements in anticipation of standards issued by the state Department of Public Instruction last month.

The committee found the district is lacking - in some areas sorely - in teaching students financial literacy.

There are "huge holes" at the elementary level in meeting the standards, Director of Curriculum and Instruction Cory Hirsbrunner told the district's finance committee Monday. But those deficits may be the easiest to correct; Hirsbrunner said many of those standards lacking can be addressed through the existing math curriculum.

Several required and elective courses at the middle school address financial literacy. The committee recommended teachers continue to collaborate to meet and reinforce financial literacy education.

The most dramatic recommendation the committee put forth is requiring a half-credit of a financial literacy course offering for graduation, beginning with the Class of 2012. The half-credit would be part of, not in addition to, the 24 credits currently required for graduation.

There are currently three courses at MHS that fulfill financial literacy standards, but they are electives, Hirsbrunner said. The courses - Economics, On Your Own, and Personal Finance - are each offered by different departments and are for different grade levels.

Staffing for the classes can't be determined until students register for the courses in January; the committee reported the most it would cost the district to institute the requirement is $26,000 per year.

The curriculum committee approved the plan earlier this month, and moved it to the finance committee because of the potential cost.

But committee member Bob Erb questioned if "hitting the standards" in three courses was the best approach, citing potential problems with consistency. He suggested the issue should be studied more before graduation requirements are changed.

"The question is if we're jumping on a bandwagon that's going in the wrong direction," he said.

Superintendent Larry Brown reminded the committee its only decision at this point is whether the financial impact is worthy of full board consideration. With that in mind, the board voted unanimously to approve the recommendation so it can be discussed by the full board.

Brown said the issue will most likely be on the agenda for the board's next meeting.