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Posted: June 4, 2024

Local Credit Union Funds Financial Literacy Courses For APS Students

Stukent Financial Literacy Simulation Software To Train APS Students

Albuquerque Journal - It’s common place in New Mexico to see algebra or chemistry as a required course in order to graduate from high school. But starting next school year, students will need a personal financial literacy course as well.

With passage of House Bill 171 during the 2024 legislative session, the financial literacy course became a graduation requirement for all New Mexico students. For Albuquerque Public Schools, the state’s largest school district, that means implementing the new course in all 13 of its high schools.

Perhaps a daunting task, but the district received help from a local credit union last week. Standing in the front of APS administration building on Thursday, First Financial Credit Union President and CEO Ron Moorehead and Chief Operating Officer Karen Ortiz handed over $643,500 to APS.

The significance of that figure? It’s the exact amount needed to fund the implementation of the Stukent Personal Finance Simulation Software for three years for not only every APS high school but every school in the district.

“It very important that we educate (students) and train them in any way we can with budgeting, paying bills and learning about interest rates,” Ortiz said.

The software will allow students to experience the real-life impact of financial decisions, such as the cost of buying a new car or health insurance. In the simulation, students will be paid on a regular basis and be responsible for properly budgeting their income against costs of living, according to Ortiz.

“They can make mistakes in it and have the opportunity to learn for them instead of making those mistakes in real life,” she said. “We want them to start off with a good foundation on how to be successful and reach their goals.”

The rollout of Stukent is planned for the start of the 2024-2025 school year, and schools other than high schools will have the choice to enroll for the software or not.

“It’s so important for our community and the future of Albuquerque,” said said George Kerr, work base learning coordinator for APS. “To have our young people coming out of school being financially alert on what they need to do to make things happen will help them immensely.”