BUFFALO (WKBW) — Buffalo Common Council Member Rasheed N.C. Wyatt is calling on the Buffalo School Board and New York State to implement financial literacy courses for Buffalo Public School students.
"This is an opportunity to help give them a tool, to assist them in dealing with challenges they are going to have," Council Member Wyatt told 7 News Anchor Jeff Russo.
In his resolution Wyatt writes "having access to financial educational resources can increase the well-being and security of residents in the City of Buffalo". Wyatt believes that by increasing financial literacy, students will be better prepared to tackle real life responsibilities.
"Basic things. Being able to balance a check book. Being able to look at investments, being able to read a contract. These are things that are life lessons that our children must 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 that summary, Dr. Taylor explains that in 1990 the Black unemployment rate was 18%, and 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 in Buffalo, we are the third poorest city of our size in the country, we have to start looking at things differently.", Council Member Wyatt told 7 News Anchor Jeff Russo. "We have to look how we legislate and I believe this would be a good way to begin.
In a 2020 Financial Literacy Survey conducted by Charles Schwab 89% of Americans agreed that the lack of financial educated contributed to important social issues including poverty and lack of job opportunities.