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Putnam Schools To Move Personal Finance Out Of Middle Schools

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam Schools To Move Personal Finance Out Of Middle Schools

The Putnam County School System plans to make Personal Finance Class available for high schoolers only to ensure that the subject matter reaches students who need it most.

Curriculum Supervisor Bubba Winningham said the class is currently taught in high schools but is also available in the spring semester for eighth graders. He said the tools students learn in the class are not relevant for middle schoolers who are typically not managing finances at their age.

“When they take it in middle school, you know, they’re not driving, they don’t have a job necessarily, so they don’t have taxes taking out,” Winningham said. “They don’t have wages taken out. So what we’re looking at is to making that shift into high school is making it relevant to those students.”

Winningham said students can take an exam after the course to receive an industry credential. He said high school students are far more likely to have developed the maturity level necessary to be prepared for that exam and make the most of the course. He said the class will have transitioned to high school only starting next school year.

“It’s not going to be a big adjustment for them as far as continuing to take that class in high school,” Winningham said. “And then, so few students take it in middle school right now, we don’t have a lot of students who take that class in middle school, so it’s not going to be a big adjustment for middle schools either.”

He said middle schoolers who might have taken the class in the future will take a regular encore class with the rest of their peers instead. He said the class follows the Dave Ramsey Course, a theory of advanced finance more suited for older students.

“He talks about saving for retirement, building an emergency fund,” Winningham said. “You know, he talks about a budget; creating a budget, paying insurance, what kind of accounts to invest in, so it’s kind of that higher-level money management piece.”

He said going forward, the communication piece will be the focus of the transition. He said it is important to make parents aware that the course will no longer be offered for eighth graders.


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