+ Chicago Students Learn Finance

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Financial literacy is important.  In Chicago, the public school system feels perhaps 86 percent of students, from low-income homes, might see their parents turning to expensive payday loans or currency exchanges for help. 

Chicago Schools CEO Ron Huberman is touting a “personal finance” class to help more than 900 students learn how to budget for college, do taxes, and make money work for them. 

Rosalind Rossi, in a Chicago Sun-Times piece, tells us that  the eight-unit course  began as a pilot program this semester in 12 CPS high schools.  Classes cover budgeting, wise spending, insurance, business models, and the “marketplace.”

Students visit both a four-year college and a city college — and their financial aid offices — as part of a segment on paying for college.

The project is funded by the JP Morgan Chase Foundation and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group Foundation.  Students are required to create and track a measurable, attainable financial goal.

Kids expecially seem to enjoy a stock market game: they invest an imaginary $1000 in stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

Student Channing Moffith-Mixon, a senior, says it’s not boring.  “With the economy declining, it’s important we learn to manage our money.”

Teacher Tim Ogden, who is a personal finance instructor at Dunbar High School, says students are definitely interested and attentive.  

Ron Huberman would like to expand this social studies option to more schools.

source: Rosalind Rossi piece at http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/2182228,CST-NWS-money21.article

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