It’s a debt fight in Florida.
Critics object to the use of famed money guru Dave Ramsey’s finance textbook in Pasco County schools, arguing that it alludes to the Bible, denounces all forms of debt and does not focus not on key mathematics skills.
The district received nearly 60 letters opposing the use of Evangelical Christian’s “Fundamentals of Personal Finance” in classrooms as part of a new financial literacy requirement.
“God forbid we have some Bible proverbs in there,” fumed a district source. “Given all the controversial topics – to put it mildly – that we see in books and textbooks these days, this is ridiculous in my opinion.”
But those who oppose the use of the book are not laughing.
The Florida Department of Education approved the book for use in classrooms in 2022. The move came after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed new legislation requiring a financial literacy course for incoming freshmen year of secondary school from the following school year.
The campaign against Ramsey’s book was led by the Florida Freedom to Read Project, a nonprofit organization opposed to the introduction of conservative-leaning materials into school libraries.
The group also objected to the use of materials from PragerU, a conservative media group led by radio host Dennis Prager.
I think the overall process of adopting the program has been infected, particularly in Florida,” board member Jessica Wright told NPR. “It’s become extremely political.”
DeSantis, critics say, has sought to impose right-wing views in public schools.
The outlet reported that Wright obtained official state and county reviews of the book that revealed deficiencies in several areas, including an omission of mathematical concepts related to finance.
Others questioned the overtly Christian references in the text, saying the religious content was inappropriate for public schools.
The district source argued that students learn math in dedicated math classes — and that opposition to the book was rooted in discomfort with the author’s perceived political leanings.
“Let’s be honest,” she said. “It’s about the writer’s profile, not the content.”
Other opponents cited Ramsey’s general opposition to any type of debt. These positions, they believe, are unrealistic and counterproductive.
“Asking students to spend all their disposable income to wipe out their debt, rather than learning how to appropriately use it to their advantage, is too harsh,” one said, according to NPR. “Part of our job with this instruction should be to teach students how to identify good and bad debt (mortgage and credit cards for example) – not how to avoid them altogether. »
Others were uncomfortable with Ramsey’s tendency to bluntly blame individuals for the state of their finances.
A spokesperson for the author did not respond to a Post request for comment.
The district will make a final decision on adopting the book later this month.
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