Students 'paid' to learn

Tuesday, January 22nd 2008, 6:26 pm
By: News 9

Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

GUTHRIE, Okla. -- A Guthrie High School teacher is paying her students to attend class.

"Every minute pays," teacher Lori Goodbary said.

The students get $3 in "imaginary money" each minute they're in class. It totals about $3,000 each month.

High school students in Goodbary's Family and Consumer Sciences class are learning to budget.

Allocating the dollars among housing, transportation, food, entertainment, clothing, and medical expenses. They also are required to save.

"They cannot put any less than 10 percent of the paycheck," Goodbary said. "That's the first thing we look at. How much was your paycheck and how much did you deposit in your savings?"

It's a lesson Goodbary never learned in school. She created the class to stress how importance of financial management.

Students said it's a valuable lesson.

"You really gotta spend your money wisely, and you gotta make sure that you have enough money to get a certain car and how to save money to get cars," student Shelby Brewington said.

Buying a car is part of the assignment. Then students have to factor the payment into their budget. It's practical education, Goodbary said.

"I try to link all my learning to life, whether it's in financial literacy, whether it's in nutrition, whether it's in interior design," the teacher said. "Whatever I'm teaching, it has to link to their life."

When they finally leave the classroom at the end of the day, and eventually at the end of the semester, Goodbary said she hopes they'll apply the lesson outside of the classroom.