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BFHS Delivers a Gold Standard Personal Financial Education

Financial literacy organization Next Gen Personal Finance has recognized Big Foot High School for its coursework helping students be better with money. Anchored by teachers Mike Sroda and Pat Hollihan, Big Foot is one of only 600 high schools with the NGPF Gold Standard distinction because of its required, semester-long personal finance course. Mr. Sroda states, “The skills learned by students in the course are important for them to know later in life, I tell my students, it’s everything you need to know, but nobody takes the time to teach you,” he said.

Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF), a non-profit on a mission to bring effective financial education to all U.S. high school classrooms, recently released a groundbreaking research report on the state of financial education. The report answers a fundamental question: Who has access to financial education in America today?

While various surveys show that more than 90% of parents and students believe such a course should be taught in schools, this study demonstrates the wide gap between demand and actual access.  The report also shows that Big Foot High School is leading the way in the mission to bring financial education to all students.  In the most comprehensive research to date on financial education at the high school level, NGPF combed through the course catalogs at over 11,000 U.S. public high schools serving over 13 million students. The highlights of this research include:

A list of every school nationwide that provides required financial education to 100% of its students.

A state-by-state grade (A-F, Incomplete) determined based on the prevalence of elective and required personal finance courses in their high schools. Read the full report to see how Wisconsin stacks up.

Only 16.4% of students nationwide are required to take a personal finance course to graduate from high school.

Outside of the five states that have a mandated personal finance graduation requirement, the percentage of students slips to 8.6%

About 1 in 20 students from low-income backgrounds (outside of the five states with mandates) attend high schools with a personal finance requirement.

A word-by-word analysis of the descriptions of over 18,000 personal finance courses revealed that little attention in these courses is being paid to financing a college education, saving for retirement or identity theft.

Tim Ranzetta, founder of Next Gen Personal Finance, made the following statement about the research results:  “This research sets an important stake in the ground by measuring access to financial education on a school-by-school basis for the first time. While these results are disappointing and frankly, not acceptable, given the importance of this knowledge, we now have a marker to measure our future success at bringing financial education to all  classrooms. In meeting teachers at workshops and training sessions across the country, I see their passion and desire to expand access and look forward to what we can accomplish together.”

Big Foot High School has been providing the course for several years and the school board made it a required course for graduation in the fall of 2009 for the incoming 2013 freshman class.

"We have the most dedicated staff here at Big Foot High School," said Principal Mike Hinske, "and we are proud to receive recognition as a Gold Standard School by NGPF."

Big Foot High School District would like to honor our students and teachers in the Business Education department for this outstanding honor.

Click here for a link to the report.

NGPF Award
~photo by Grace Gillingham, Yearbook Editor-in-Chief


~Information Provided by Susan Pruessing, Public Relations Coordinator