Bompezzi is teaching students why it pays to be financially responsible, about the stock market, how to have personal budgets, tools for banking and credit cards, paying taxes, and so much more.

Read the Q&A below with Bompezzi, to learn more about why Money Matters is an essential class for high school age students:

Q: How is the Money Matters course structured?

A: Some lessons certainly “snowball” from one to the other, but what really “snowballs” is the language. Assets, liabilities, overhead, bonds, mutual funds, indexes, and budgeting, are all examples of terms that are consistent through each lesson. In short, the basics are taught for each topic and many of them scale together.

Q: What projects are you working on now?

A: Personal Budgets and Banking are what we just finished. The banking unit opened my student’s eyes to all the options out there and many of them came to the realization that their money is in the wrong institution – think banks versus credit unions. The stock market unit is coming up this week, which I am really excited about.

Q: What are the things that students have expressed the most intrested in?

A: They want to know how to save money, but many of them rarely ever want to implement the practices needed to save money. The second hottest topic is certainly investments and stocks. Learning about car loans was a pretty popular lesson as well.

Q: Why is a course like Money Matters important for high school age students?

A: In order to have productive members of society, education is key! I have a saying that my kids love, and are probably tired of me saying, “Knowledge is power. Power is money. And money makes the world go ‘round.” If they want that cheddar, they have to learn to make cheese first. Everyone uses money, some more wisely than others, and the more wisely you can use your money will make you a more responsible adult and it’s all due to knowledge. Core classes get all the glory but deliver few results within a community. While these courses are important for folks going into those careers and for the general population to know the basics, most are retired from core classes once they leave high school. However, CTE courses are where the majority of jobs and careers are learned. CTE teaches students how to think critically, teaches them to fail and then try again, and the skills that are actually needed to excel in today’s workforce.

“Money Matters and Personal Finance should be a graduation requirement,” Bompezzi said. “That way, every student has the very basic knowledge needed to succeed. Every student would know ‘Knowledge is power. Power is money. And money makes the world go ‘round.’”