Dave Ramsey’s ‘Foundations in Personal Finance’ course in northern Nevada high schools

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) – A non-profit called the Hayek Group and volunteers, including the CEO & President of NeoMedical Tim Duvall, have raised nearly $500,000 to empower young men and women across northern Nevada with financial literacy skills.

The Hayek Group and Duvall are paying the fees required to make the ‘Foundations in Personal Finance’ program available to high school students in all Washoe County and Pershing County high schools free of charge during the fall semester of the 2022-2023 school year.

Efforts are also underway to get the program in as many northern Nevada high schools as possible.

“You can’t really be personally free if you’re not financially free and so I think we need to teach these young people all the skills that we can,” Duvall said.

At least one of these classes is taught to a group of students at Wooster High School. ”What is the purpose of insurance?” Foundations in Personal Finance Teacher, Morgan Bishop asks his class. Students learn critical money skills including budgeting, saving, and steps to grow a retirement income through wise investments.

“It’s a really easy curriculum to teach and it’s really easy to learn. It’s a really well designed curriculum,” Mr. Bishop said.

Similar curriculum designed for adults and taught in Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University” costs over $100 per person.

As the acting Education Chair at the Hayek Group, Duvall is primarily responsible for raising a total of $475,000 for this curriculum by hosting nine events including five golf tournaments and other fundraisers.

He also accepted generous donations from organizations and individuals like Gretchen Haas.

Duvall and the Hayek Group paid $175,000 for the Washoe County School District’s 7-year contract.

The idea to raise the money to help northern Nevada high school students came to Duvall when he was moving his Company from California to Nevada.

He listened to Dave Ramsey on the radio as he was meeting with the Hayek Group.

Duvall contacted Washoe County School District Curriculum and Instruction Manager, Kindra Fox.

”I had arranged for Ramsey to be online and they held a meeting and about 15 minutes into the meeting she stopped us and said this program is way beyond what we thought it could be and we’re prepared to put it in as an elective into the school system,” Duvall said.

In 2015, it reached 4,400 students in 12 schools.

Since then, it has been put in seven northern Nevada school districts to reach 37 high schools, but COVID-19 restrictions have forced the program to end in some high schools.

”It’s designed right for high school. It’s accredited. It’s taught throughout the Country and I don’t think you could find a better program,” Duvall said.

In fact, the students Bond talked with in Mr. Bishop’s class say they didn’t know this class in their School District comes with a $175,000 price tag or that Duvall along with the Hayek Group raised the money.

”That’s awesome. I’m super thankful for all of this,” said Foundations in Personal Finance Student, Natalia Chacon.

”I think they should use it because it really does help a lot and it does prepare students for adult life,” said Foundations in Personal Finance Student, Lavi Malafu.

WCSD Curriculum & Instruction spokeswoman for the Washoe County School District Sarah Brown oversees implementation of all K-12 social students content, including the financial literacy instruction.

She says after receiving the donation and support from the Hayek Group for the high school “Foundations in Personal Finance” program, the District decided to use grant funding to purchase the middle school version as well in 2021.

She says WCSD administrators have a goal to see vertical alignment from middle to high school and by the 2022-2023 school year WCSD will be required to implement a full semester economic/personal finance course and it will be mandatory for graduation for all seniors.

This change has led to the adoption of new economics instructional materials and the development of a new scope and sequence and pacing guide that will explicitly include the Foundations materials.

This new course will require teachers to spend a minimum of five weeks on financial literacy instruction and using the Foundations program.

Brown says her team is designing a number of professional development opportunities that began in May and run through the fall.

Duvall is running for Nevada State Senate District 16.

He’s running against Don Tatro, Lisa Krasner and Monica Jay.

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