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The Lantern

The Student News Site of CFHS

The Lantern

The Student News Site of CFHS

The Lantern

Financing the future

The personal finance class will now be considered a requirement for graduation by the MN state legislature.
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Bowen Maki
Mr. Clark is always excited to teach personal finance to his students.

The Personal Finance one-semester course has recently become a Minnesota state requirement to graduate high school. Because of this, all students attending Cannon Falls High School will take Personal Finance during their sophomore, junior, or senior year. This will start next year and any class after the class of 2028 will be required to do this. The Personal Finance course is designed to supply students with the skills necessary to make financially sound decisions in the future and prepare them for life after graduation.

Cannon Falls High School Business teacher Steve Clark’s Personal Finance course is composed of various units ranging from filing taxes, to insurance, to the stock market, and much more. Students even participate in a stock simulation in which they are given $100,000 in fake digital currency to invest in a simulated stock market. Though none of the money is real, the simulated stocks align with real stocks and are updated in real time. The students are placed in a competition in which they are ranked by who has earned the greatest income and the winner earns extra credit. This allows students to test out the stock market without taking on the risk that comes with investing. This is one way in which this course allows students to experience economics in a contained environment, allowing them to make mistakes, learn from them, and create a plan for the future. 

Far too many students are thrown into postsecondary life not even knowing how to file their taxes or complete other simple financial tasks. Without being supplied with personal finance knowledge in schools it can be extremely difficult for students to obtain answers to any questions they have regarding finance leaving them confused and ignorant. Historically only students with the privilege of having financially stable parents who are willing to have conversations about money have access to personal finance knowledge. However, this requirement will change that. Mr. Clark believes that “all kids need to know these things, especially as they are about to graduate and take on debt.” 

Students who have taken the Personal Finance course in the past find the skills they learned outstandingly useful and believe that they are better equipped to take on the current economy after high school. Micah Katterjohn, a student who took Personal Finance this school year, states, “It’s definitely helping me with my finances, especially with investments.” Through this course, students gain a new perspective on the ways they can make and save money. Once students enter the world outside of high school these skills become valuable. 

It is widely agreed upon that the requirement for this course is not only necessary but long overdue. Personal finance education is essential to post-secondary readiness and success. Unlike many other subjects, personal finance affects everyone, regardless of whether a student chooses to go to college, what major they choose, or what their future profession is. Everyone will need financial knowledge to be successful. It is clear that our school wants its students to be as prepared as possible for their future, and requiring a personal finance credit is imperative in this effort.

About the Contributors
Emily Breland
Emily Breland, Features Writer
Hi! I’m Emily, I’m a Junior and I write for the features category. I’m otherwise involved in the dance team, yearbook, speech, and SADD. I’m also an assistant coach at Just For Kix.
Bowen Maki
Bowen Maki, Media Editor-in-Chief
Howdy doodly! My name is Bowen Maki and I'm a muse with a camera. I'm a senior and I take pictures and videos for the Lantern. When I'm not behind the camera I like to be in front of it with theater, speech, and weightlifting. I have a deep love of psychology, skating, and stuffing my head with useless knowledge.