FDIC gives praise to first DHS finance class

Published 11:40 pm Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Members of the personal finance class at Demopolis High School received certificates of merit from members of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FCIC) at the school on Tuesday.

This was the first year for the class at DHS. The 19 students and teacher Lucinda Mason were given high praise from John Olsen and Tom Stokes of the FDIC.

“Financial education is a key issue with FDIC,” said Olsen. “With the recent housing crisis, a lot of people got into loans that they didn’t understand. Budgeting is also a key issue. Unfortunately, kids still think that money grows on trees.”

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“We wanted to do a little recognition ceremony,” said Stokes. “We wanted to give them a little memento, a certificate to show them that this was important enough to recognize what the school is doing.”

The state of Alabama does not require a component in its curriculum for personal finance. Classes like the personal finance class at DHS are offered as electives and can give Demopolis graduates an upper hand on personal finances when they graduate and move into the real world.

“I work with the Alabama Jump$tart Coalition,” Olsen said. “We’re trying to promote in schools that they do adopt some kind of required personal finance classes. Our understanding is that, on the high school exit exam, that they don’t even have any questions that relate to personal finance. That’s kind of scary.”

The Alabama Jump$tart Coalition is a non-profit organization that seeks to increase financial literacy for all Alabama students from kindergarten through college.

The certificate ceremony on Tuesday was attended by representatives of the four banks in Demopolis — Bank-Trust, Regions Bank, Robertson Banking Company and Sweet Water State Bank — who each spoke to the class. DHS principal Dr. Isaac Espy praised the local banks for their support of Demopolis City Schools.