Board member calls for financial literacy classes for BPS

BUFFALO (WKBW) — Buffalo Common Council member Rasheed NC Wyatt is calling on the Buffalo School Board and New York State to implement financial literacy classes for Buffalo Public School students.

“This is an opportunity to give them a tool, to help them through the challenges they’re going to face,” council member Wyatt told 7 News anchor Jeff Russo.

In his resolution, Wyatt writes that “access to financial educational resources can increase the well-being and safety of residents of the City of Buffalo.” Wyatt believes that by increasing financial literacy, students will be better prepared to take on real-life responsibilities.

“Basic things. Being able to balance a checkbook. Being able to look at investments, being able to read a contract. Those are things that are life lessons for our kids to have.”

Also in the resolution, Wyatt points to the research summary titled “The Harder We Run” by Dr. Henry-Louis Taylor, which speaks to the plight of African Americans and the working poor in our region.

In this summary, Dr. Taylor explains that in 1990, the unemployment rate for blacks was 18% and that 35% of blacks had incomes below the poverty line. Thirty-one years later, unemployment remains at 11% and 35% of African Americans remain below the poverty line.

“I think because of the demographics of Buffalo, we’re the third poorest city our size in the country, we have to start seeing things differently,” Councilman Wyatt told 7 News Anchor Jeff. Russian. “We have to look at how we legislate and I think that would be a good way to start.

In a 2020 Financial Literacy Survey conducted by Charles Schwab, 89% of Americans agreed that a lack of financial education contributes to important social problems, including poverty and lack of job opportunities.

Sarah J. Greer