Mission 2030 Guest Post: Christie Woods Met No Opposition When Suggesting a Personal Finance Requirement
The following post 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.
About Today's Guest Author
Christie Woods is an educator at Horton High School in Horton, Kansas. Their school is the 50th recipient of the Gold Standard Challenge grant for requiring students to take a personal finance course for graduation. Here is Christe describing Horton’s journey to the Gold Standard in their own words.
Describe a rough timeline for how you and/or your colleagues were able to advocate for personal finance to become a graduation requirement in your school/district. How long did it take? What were the major progress milestones?
I had put the idea out to my principal three years ago about making a personal finance requirement for our juniors and seniors. I didn't get very far with that administrator. He left last year and the new principal was totally on board with it, so we proposed it for the 2020-21 school year and the board passed it!
What challenges did you encounter in your efforts to make personal finance a graduation requirement, and what solutions did you find for these challenges?
Honestly, my former principal wasn't overly interested in changing policy to make this a requirement, or at least he would never give the issue much time when I would bring it up. When that principal left for another position, the new principal was on board right away!
What/who were the "catalysts for change" that allowed your efforts to be successful?
My current principal was instrumental in making sure that the requirement went through to the board.
Which stakeholders (students, parents, admin, business leaders, school board, etc) were helpful partners in your quest to make the graduation requirement happen?
My students love learning about relevant things, so their interest in personal finance was an easy driving force for me to push the issue up the chain of command. I was fairly lucky because I met no opposition as soon as I had the right principal in place. All stakeholders that were presented with the possibility of this class being a requirement were in resounding agreement that it most definitely should be!