Last week seniors were informed that they would have to take Personal Finance or an equivalent class.
If the student has taken, or is going to take Algebra 2 and Economics, then they only have to take a financial literacy class during AP or after school. Otherwise, they must fit Personal Finance into their schedule. For seniors, this means that one of their only options is to somehow manage to take Personal Finance next semester.
The big question on many people’s minds is, beside how they are going to meet the requirement, is why this has come to light only recently, and why they must take the class, instead of being “grandfathered” in?
That is a good question, and one that cannot be easily explained away.
The Cub, and its contributors have delved into this, and the results can only be described as surprising, and a little bit maddening.
The official “Personal Financial Responsibility Instruction Guidelines for Implementation” is an official Indiana Department of Education document that describes in detail about this new law, and what is required. The document is freely available on the DOE website. link (PDF).
It says on the first page, under the second heading, that this policy takes effect with the 2009-2010 school year. This policy was passed on July 9th, 2009, over a month before school started. However, not a single mention was made to the students that they would need to take Personal Finance to graduate. If this is true by Indiana Law, thenlast year’s seniors shouldn’t have even graduated.
If the school councilors and the administration did somehow miss the passing of a law that would affect several hundred of their students, then why did they also not act when the SS INTouch (PDF), a news brief for counselor sent out by the Indiana Department of Education, told of the new law? When did this particular newsletter go out? This month? Last month? No, December of 2009.
Mrs. Jennifer Martin, senior counselor, said in an interview with The Cub that the school did know about the new law, but Martin said that they were still “tweaking” the law, and were unsure about what would be required.
Martin went on to say that some students knew about it because she suggested that they take Personal Finance. Why weren’t all students informed and their schedules adjusted? Good question.
So what can students do?
They have several options:
1. Take Personal Finance (Dual credit also, but only offered one period next semester)
2. If you have taken Alg 2 and Econ, then you can take a NovaNET class during study hall, 7th period, or after school.
3. A class with Mrs. Allen (“Personal Finance for Dummies”) before/after school, for 4-6 weeks (no high school credit).
– by Joshua Dean, Editor