Personal finance to become graduation requirement

Beginning next school year the course will be offered as a normal class, a dual credit and as an online course.

Alex Carlon, Online Managing and News Editor

Governor Kim Reynolds first signed required financial literacy legislation into law in April of 2018. On Jan. 21, West students saw the first ramifications of this measure as personal finance was listed as a graduation requirement on class registration forms. 

With many having already decided their course preferences early in their high school careers, this news was met with mixed reactions among the student body. Though fitting a trimester-long class into an already packed schedule is not an ideal circumstance, the school has outlined several options for students who have yet to take the class.

The first option is regular personal finance, the same trimester-long course that has been offered at West for a number of years. The class covers topics such as budgeting, banking and investing in hopes of coaching students to make sound financial decisions down the road.

“[This class] will cover the same core content as it has in the past with a lot of hands-on, collaborative, project-based work,” said business teacher Abbie Weipert. Weipert has taught personal finance at West since 2017 and will continue teaching the course next year.

West will also offer a Kirkwood dual credit option for personal finance. This class will still take place at West, but will count for credit at the community college and will follow a curriculum set by Kirkwood.

“There will be a little bit more homework, and it will have the academic rigor of a college course,” Weipert said. “It’s covering the same topics but going a bit more in-depth.”

The final option, not explicitly outlined on the course registration form, is an online financial literacy course. Considered a last resort for students who can not fit a trimester of personal finance into their schedule, this method must be approved by a counselor and will take place  through the online learning platform Edgenuity.

The personal finance requirement applies only to the class of 2021 onwards, and students who have already taken the class do not need to retake it. Registration for the 2020-21 school year is due on Jan. 31, and inquiries regarding personal finance can be directed to students’ guidance counselors.