Do students in middle and high schools in Frederick County have an adequate understanding of basic, consumer finances? Do they know how to pay a bill or navigate checking and savings accounts? Do they understand finance charges or how to use credit/debit cards?
These are some of the many financial issues addressed by the Frederick County Public Schools’ (FCPS) Principals of Finance and Accounting course offered by the Career and Technology Education (CTE) program.
“The evidence that students need better financial literacy education is in the news every week,” CTE coordinator Norm McGaughey said. “Young adults chronically struggle with the same issues, and these problems aren't necessarily knowledge problems, but capability problems.”
FERKO Maryland Credit Union is sponsoring the 2021 Budget Challenge to help students in the course. Students are put in real-world situations and are scored on the demonstration of such important skills as paying bills on-time, planning for unexpected financial events and saving for retirement. McGaughey says he is grateful of the support from FERKO, which enables students to have an ultra-realistic practice round before using their own money.