Jeanette A. Tucker, Zeringue, Deniese L., Morgan, Johnny W. | 7/27/2006 2:31:17 AM
Teachers across Louisiana went back to school this summer to receive training that will help them teach financial management in their classrooms.
The classes were sponsored by the LSU AgCenter in cooperation with Louisiana Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy and the National Endowment for Financial Education.
LSU AgCenter family economics specialist Dr. Jeanette Tucker said the program is designed to give high school teachers the some extra skills so they, in turn, can help their students learn how to deal with various aspects of personal finances and budgeting.
Approximately 150 teachers participated in nine classes that were offered during July at eight different locations – Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Bossier City, Covington, Crowley, Lake Charles, Metairie and West Monroe. The series wrapped up July 25.
"According to a 2006 national survey, teens spend more than $175 billion in the United States annually," Tucker said, adding, "But the problem for our state is that Louisiana high school seniors answered only 47.2 percent of the questions correctly on the survey that measured high school seniors’ knowledge of personal financial basics."
The workshops this summer were part of an ongoing effort to help Louisiana high school students become more financially literate.
"State law now requires teachers to include information on personal finances as part of the free enterprise courses, Louisiana students must take," Tucker said. "Instruction in financial management also fits the curriculum requirements for several other high school courses including mathematics, family and consumer sciences, business, business math and Junior ROTC."
LSU AgCenter agents from various areas of the state taught the one-day sessions. Deniese Zeringue, an LSU AgCenter family and consumer science agent in St. Charles Parish, who was one of the instructors, said the workshops covered topics teachers are required to cover in the classroom. Among them are budgeting, saving, investing, spending and credit.
"I realize that these topics can be a little uncomfortable, even for the teachers," Zeringue said. "So I make a special effort to provide a handout of the presentations, so they will have answers at the fingertips once they get back to the classroom."
Patricia Miller, the gifted resource teacher at T. H. Harris Middle School in Jefferson Parish, said the class was helpful to her.
"I am so excited about what I’ve learned so far, and I can’t wait to bring it to the classroom as soon we get back to school," Miller said. "Just knowing how much income young people have today and how little they know about using it wisely is motivation enough for me."
Kristy Willie, a family and consumer science teacher at Amite High School in Tangipahoa Parish, said this training is wonderful because textbooks used in many classes simply don’t contain enough of this type of information.
Tucker said statistics show better education on financial matters is essential for high school students.
"Today’s high school graduate stands to earn over $1 million in adulthood, but with today’s rising personal bankruptcy rate, the increases in consumer credit delinquencies and inadequate retirement savings, we just have to train our young people," she said.
For additional information on these workshops or other financial management resources available through the LSU AgCenter and its High School Financial Planning Program, contact Jeanette Tucker at (225) 578-6701 or firstname.lastname@example.org – or visit www.lsuagcenter.com for the variety of programs offered by the LSU AgCenter.
Jeanette Tucker at (225) 578-6701 or email@example.com
Deniese Zeringue at (985) 785-4473 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Johnny Morgan at (225) 578-8484 or email@example.com