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Class Requirements Change Starting With Personal Finance

Full classrooms! Intro to Business class does not have an empty seat during third period. The state of Nebraksa’s new personal finance graduation requirement will affect enrollment in other electives.

In May, 2021 the Nebraska Department of Education made the decision for Personal Finance to be a required class to graduate starting with students graduating in 2024. GPS filed an appeal in hopes that current students who have already built their four year plan of classes would not be required to take the class to graduate. The appeal was denied and now high school counselors are rushing to help students meet this requirement.
Emails from the counselors went out to students on March 3, 2022. Students will have the choice between taking Personal Finance, or DC Financial Literacy to fill this required course. Many students will opt to take Personal Finance instead of DC Financial Literacy due to the ACT reading score of 18 you must have to take the class.
“Obviously the sooner the better,” counselor Mrs Alyssa Palensky said. “When we roll out that form any students who want to change classes can and we will have a running list just to get an idea.”
Students are able to begin taking dual credit classes starting their junior year. With this new requirement current sophomores are forced to give up an elective spot for a finance class. This takes away an opportunity to take a DC class and get college credits.
“It will definitely affect the other electives,” Mrs Palensky said. “we’re looking at around 250 kids that still need to take the class so it’s basically a full teachers schedule; I’m not really sure how it will affect them but it definitely will.”
This new requirement will be difficult to adapt to with the extreme shortage of teachers in GPS. The Personal Finance course and DC Financial Literacy course may already be filled forcing the school to create new finance courses.
“Currently we are still in the hiring process so this law will probably require us to hire more teachers to fill those spaces,” Mrs Palensky said. “It’s really not a question of who will teach the class, it’s more where they will teach it. We will definitely have a lot more traveling teachers next year.”
Although it is not the school’s choice, many students are very upset over the new course requirement and wish it would have been announced to students earlier in the year. Students are afraid that this will mess up their academic plans.
“Many students already have their schedules set up to allow them to be ahead in their career,” sophomore MacKenzie Hill said. “taking an empty elective spot for financial classes will mess up people’s schedules and plans.”
All students that are graduating in 2024 or after, make sure to fill out the form that was sent out or talk to your counselors. The sooner the forms get filled out the better.