Mission 2030 Guest Post: Katie Kohoutek of Lidgerwood High School on how her own kids inspired her to get her school to the Gold Standard in Financial Education
Katie Kohoutek is a veteran business, computer and personal finance teacher from Lidgerwood High School in Lidgerwood, North Dakota. Her school's personal finance program is the 13th in the nation to receive a $10,000 grant from NGPF's Gold Standard Challenge grant program, which awards grant dollars to schools when they adopt standalone graduation requirements for personal finance.
Her quest is one in a series of inspiring stories from NGPF's Gold Standard Challenge Grant Program which incentivizes high schools and districts to commit to ALL students taking personal finance courses before graduation. Learn more, and apply for your $2,500 to $30,000 Gold Standard Challenge Grant before the August 31, 2022 deadline here.
Here's Katie in her own words on the process of getting it done in her small, rural setting!
When did you begin advocating for your personal finance class?
What challenges did you encounter? And what was your timeline to make the change?
- I did my homework on academic and consumer studies showing the impact of personal finance education on financial behaviors.
- I researched what other schools around the U.S. were doing regarding personal finance graduation requirements.
- I pulled in some of the nationwide statistics provided by NGPF's Advocacy Playbook
- I combined these three pieces to gain the support of both my principal and superintendent before ever going to the school board.
When I eventually presented to the board, it really helped that one board member's daughter had taken my Financial Literacy class as an elective the year before, and this board member even spoke at the meeting about how the class had helped her daughter. This personal connection was so key! The board voted to adopt Financial Literacy as a standalone graduation requirement beginning with the 2020-2021 school year.
Any words of advice for fellow educators advocating for personal finance classes?
I would encourage any educator who is considering pitching this graduation requirement to move ahead with your plan, no matter how daunting the path forward might be in your district!