Before you entered high school, did you ever wonder what classes you would take as electives? P.E? Art? Home Economics? Wait, what is that last one? Well, to give you some insight as to what Home Economics is, it is a class where you learn how to cook, do taxes, and perform childcare tasks. Years ago, it was an option to take as an elective, even at Saint Cloud High. Now, there are very few schools that have this program. Nationwide, there are only about 6,000 schools that still have the program. The program would be beneficial for high school students all over the country by helping them to gain some real-world skills.
Mrs. April Winnermark, the test coordinator in our school who also has a degree in Home Economics, talked about the benefits of having a Home Economics class at Saint Cloud High. When asked if Home Economics would be beneficial to students in high school, she said: “Absolutely... I see kids nowadays that can’t balance checkbooks...Little things that you think ‘Oh, why would I ever need that are really kind of significant things you really would use in real life.”
Skills like sewing a button or being able to cook are things that high school students need once they venture out into the world on their own. Yes, it is possible for students to learn this on their own, but it would be better if there was a teacher teaching you with hands-on experience.
Without Home Economics, students are missing out on valuable life lessons that will be harder to learn once they are in the real world. “That’s something you do every day when you move out on your own...Those basic skills, I think, are what we learn in home economics...I think a lot of kids nowadays just have missed out on all of that.” Winnermark continued. Home Economics teaches students how to be independent once they go off to college. Most are going to have to know how to cook and how to file taxes, and many kids nowadays are too distracted by social media to get up and learn these skills.
You might be wondering why Home Economics courses were taken out of schools. Well, here’s a simple answer: budget cuts. When a school does not have a lot of finances, they tend to take some programs out to save money. Of course, they can’t take out core classes, so they take out the classes that students do not need, such as electives. Of course, that means that Home Economics would be taken out because of its lack of popularity.
Another reason we do not have Home Economics is the lack of people with degrees in it. “When the budgets came back in where they could hire back all these elective teachers...at some point people didn’t get those degrees anymore.” stated Winnermark. There are only about six universities in the United States that still offer this career pathway. It really is a shame that there are not very many people with this degree considering how beneficial it would be to both middle and high school students.
Overall, the lack of Home Economics courses offered in high school may affect students. The fact that most teenagers, including myself, can’t do things like sewing or cooking just proves how much this class would help students. These are basic skills that each student should learn so they are prepared for the real world. Without them, who knows how most of us will end up.
At the publishing of this story, on March 22, 2022, governor DeSantis signed a bill that incoming high school students must pass a financial literacy class to graduate high school.