Barksdale to fund financial learning in Miss. public schools

Published 9:22 pm Friday, November 10, 2006

Former Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale has announced program to fund the public schools to teach students how to make good money decisions.

The James L. Barksdale Financial Literary Program will allow K-12 educators interested in teaching financial literacy — making good money decisions — to be trained for nine months by the Mississippi Council on Economic Education.

The grant provides $50,000 to public school districts adding economic and financial education into the curriculum, said Pamela Smith, president of MCEE, a statewide organization focusing on educating students on basic economic principles and relating economics to everyday life.

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“Kids have so much to learn about making sure they make good decisions in their money,” she said Wednesday. “Teachers have a lot to learn. Most adults have a lot to learn.”

Smith said learning starts at the kindergarten level.

“Little kids need to understand that they can’t have everything,” she said. “What we teach them is logical thinking,” like “when you make choice A, this is what you get. When you make choice B, that’s what you get.”

High school seniors, for example, might play a game involving the stock market, with teams given $100,000 in mock money to be invested. The students make group decisions and invest for 10 weeks. The winning group, Smith said, gets a trip to New York City.

To be eligible for the grant, school districts must be part of the Mississippi Economics America Program.

On the Net:

Mississippi Council on Economic Education,