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High School Personal Financial Literacy

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Learning to make sound financial decisions is one of the most important lessons a student can learn. In this course, students will learn financial decision-making skills using real-life applications and data. The primary content for the course focuses on learning the ideas, concepts, knowledge, and skills that will enable students to implement beneficial personal decision-making choices; to become wise, successful, and knowledgeable consumers, savers, investors, users of credit and money managers; and to be participating members of a global workforce and society. Personal Financial Literacy is a half-credit (0.5) elective and offers an option for students to receive honors credit.

Module 01 - Education, Careers, and Income

  • goals beyond a high school education
  • job-related costs and benefits
  • factors that impact the earnings of workers
  • gross and net income
  • the relationship between demand for goods and worker wages
  • productivity of workers
  • changes in economic conditions
  • effects of a recession on the unemployment rate
  • direct and indirect taxes
  • progressivity of taxes
  • purpose and use of taxes
  • purpose of creating a budget

Module 02 - A Time to Spend, A Time to Save

  • factors influencing consumer decisions
  • researching goods and services
  • ways retailers express prices of products in order to influence consumers
  • donating to charitable and non-profit organizations
  • differences between savings and checking accounts
  • services available through financial institutions
  • reasons people choose immediate spending over saving
  • employer benefit programs
  • inflation's impact on society
  • relationship between inflation, nominal interest rate, and real interest rate
  • ways the government protects consumers from fraud
  • government's role in the investment market

Module 03 - Understanding Credit

  • types of credit
  • annual percentage rate (APR)
  • credit options
  • fixed and variable interest rate
  • down payments and collateral
  • secured and unsecured loans
  • common types of mortgages
  • significance of credit scores and reports
  • negative effects of failing to repay a loan
  • ways to receive a credit report
  • ways those in debt can seek assistance
  • benefits and costs to filing for bankruptcy
  • consumer protection laws for credit
  • government regulation of credit card companies
  • goals of fiscal policy (Honors only)
  • how changes in fiscal policy affect the national budget (Honors only)

Module 04 - Managing Risk

  • real return on an investment
  • costs associated with investments
  • how buyers and sellers determine the price of financial assets
  • how interest rates affect investments
  • how economic conditions affect investments
  • how investor actions, the U.S. economy, and the global marketplace impact the rate of return on investment
  • level of risk associated with investments
  • how the term of investments affects the rate of return
  • factors that determine a person's willingness to take financial risk
  • importance of diversification in investing
  • how insurance policies work
  • different types of insurance available
  • ways to avoid identity theft
  • assistance for victims of identity theft
  • recognize the purposes of sample surveys, experiments, and observational studies (Honors only)
  • explain how randomization relates to sample surveys, experiments, and observational studies (Honors only)
  • evaluate reports based on data (Honors only)
  • use data to estimate a population mean or proportion (Honors only)
  • interpret differences in shape, center, and spread in the context of the data sets (Honors only)
  • use the mean and standard deviation of a data set to fit it to a normal distribution and to estimate population percentages (Honors only)
  • represent data with plots on the real number line (Honors only)
  • use data to compare two treatments (Honors only)
  • use simulations to decide if differences between parameters are significant (Honors only)