Mission 2030 Guest Post: David Curtis Advocated for Personal Finance as a 4th Year Math Option
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
David Curtis is an educator at Union County High School in Morganfield, Kentucky. Their school is the 148th recipient of the Gold Standard Challenge grant. Here is David describing Union County’s journey to the Gold Standard.
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 retired from insurance and returned to teaching to continue work. I was given Algebra 2 classes to help get additional credits. A state exam was given for some classes and to all Juniors. I began using some financial topics as extra material.
What challenges did you encounter in your efforts to make personal finance a graduation requirement, and what solutions did you find for these challenges?
I advocate it as a requirement instead of Algebra 2, which our state required as a graduation requirement. Everyone will not use Algebra 2 topics after graduation, but everyone will use financial literacy in some way.
What/who were the "catalysts for change" that allowed your efforts to be successful?
Evan Jackson, the principal of the high school. Amy Nelson, the assistant principal and Nicole Thomas, the counselor and registration guide coordinator.
Which stakeholders (students, parents, admin, business leaders, school board, etc) were helpful partners in your quest to make the graduation requirement happen?
Parents, business leaders, and school administration were very helpful. Our high school requires 4 years of mathematics as a requirement for graduation. We were able to use personal finance as the 4th year math for many students. Mr. Jackson, our principal was on board from the start.