Students ask Board of Education to add financial literacy degree requirement

A dozen speakers at Tuesday’s meeting of the Montgomery County Board of Education (BOE) urged the school district to adopt a financial literacy graduation requirement so that students can purchase a home and a home. car, fill out financial forms, pay taxes and learn how to save money. and plan for the future.

Earlier this month, members of the BOE asked Acting Superintendent Monifa McKnight to explore the possibility of offering a 0.5 credit financial literacy course that would be a requirement for all grade nine students, from the school year 2023-2024. McKnight has been asked to report by January 2022.

Katie Yuan, founder of InnovateX, a student-run nonprofit and spearheading advocacy for personal finance reform, told BOE members that too many young adults depend on their parents or learn from their parents. gradually. “Not all students have the luxury of having mentors to teach them or the time to teach themselves while balancing their academic and professional responsibilities,” she said.

Angelina Xu, a sophomore at Richard Montgomery High School, said, “Our math classes don’t tell us how to set our credit scores. Our English teachers are too busy reviewing thesis statements to teach us how to apply for financial aid. Yet the county-wide survey conducted by our task force found that only 742 students had taken a personal finance course in one semester. That’s out of nearly 45,000 high school students.

Several of the student lecturers are from another country or their parents are from another country. They expressed problems and fears about filling out financial forms that could help them receive help with their college education.

Student Hanna Frank noted, “Everyone spends money and needs to understand how to manage their income. High school is supposed to prepare us for life, and in a county with such a great education, I think it’s a fundamental oversight that we don’t have a required financial literacy class.

Matthew Casertano, who said he represented members of the Blair Financial Literacy Club, also urged the BOE to demand a financial literacy course.

Student council member Hana O’Looney congratulated all of the students, who represent eight high schools, for speaking out.

Additionally, during the BOE reunion public comment session, a few parents criticized the school district for not implementing COVID-19 testing to stay, so fewer students would need to step up. in quarantine. They asked why the district is taking so long to launch a program it supports.

McKnight explained that the program needs the support and assistance of other partners, including the county. “It is not an easy task,” she said. The school district cannot start the test to be left alone, she said. “Frankly, we don’t have staff and can’t do it. “