April 26, 2013 Senator Kay Hagan visited Leesville to speak about a bill she will soon be introducing to the Senate.
Hagan, a former NC Senator who was elected to the US Senate in 2008, is working on a bill that will require students across the US to be educated in personal finance literacy by taking a course similar to Entrepreneurship, offered at Leesville.
The senator started her morning at Leesville in Ms. Holly Laird’s Entrepreneurship’s class. After sitting in on the class for around 30 minutes, Hagan and her staff held a press conference in the media center, which was kicked off by short speeches from Leesville’s Dr. A.J. Mutillo and Ms. Holly Laird in addition to speeches from Leslie Walden, a representative of Fidelity Investments, and Sandy Wheat, executive director of the North Carolina Council on Economic Education.
She began outlining her bill and stressing the importance of financial literacy among students. According to Hagan, only four states across the US have schools that teach personal financial literacy for an entire semester and expressed her desire to change that.
Hagan spoke of teaching financial literacy to students of all ages — starting in elementary school — to ensure they’re prepared before graduation, where the threat of student loans and paying for college becomes real for students across the US. Understanding personal finance before undertaking those loans is essential to students, Hagan believes.
Laird, who hosted the first stop in Hagan’s visit to Leesville, was both excited and nervous to host Hagan during her Entrepreneurship I class, but Hagan was equipped with energy upon entering the classroom and was ready to learn about the day’s financial literacy lesson.
“I enjoyed watching her as she interacted with the Entrepreneurship I students as inquired about their individual business ventures,” said Laird via email.
Laird believes Hagan’s bill is on the right track, and she’s glad to see Hagan raise awareness at the federal level.
“I support her efforts and hope the push and momentum for financial literacy continues,” Laird said in an email interview.
Though Senator Hagan was wonderful, Laird says the best part of the whole experience was seeing the students rise to the occasion.
Grace Taylor, a sophomore in Ms. Spransy’s class, all of whom attended the press conference, agreed with Senator Hagan and is in full support of her bill.
“I feel like not a lot of people are prepared for the real adult world. We learn a lot of stuff about math, like pythagorean theorem… but we don’t know how to pay our taxes or know what a credit score is,” said Taylor.
Taylor appreciated the experience of sitting in on Hagan’s press conference, noting Hagan’s many attempts to appeal to students and families while drawing support to her bill.
“I felt like a real adult [sitting in on] a press conference,” Taylor said.
After Hagan concluded her speech, she took a few questions unrelated to her upcoming bill, including the recent defeats of many gun control amendments.
“I think people expect there to be a law that says ‘guns should be kept out of the hands of criminals,’ and the fact that we were unable to garner 60 votes for universal criminal background checks, I was disappointed,” said Hagan on the subject.
Hagan left Leesville soon after to return to promoting and gaining support for her personal finance literacy bill.