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Financial Literacy Debates

2018-2019 Season



2018-2019 Resolution


Resolved: It is a better financial decision to use discretionary income to pay down debt than to use discretionary income to invest in a retirement account.


Financial Literacy Debates  Coach Registration for Stipends


Schedule & Locations


                                                 Coming Soon.

Coach Stipends

We are thankful for the support of both the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues and the Citi Foundation for generously supporting teachers and schools for participating in this program. To take part in the program and receive a stipend in the amount of $500, the coach agrees to facilitate their team’s participation in the workshops, setting up a local connection to the video conference session and facilitating the participation of their students. The coach agrees to supply coaching to their team as the students develop their cases and strategies for the tournament. The coach also agrees to go with their team to the tournament and, if applicable, the final round. The coach also agrees to complete a survey of their experience after the event and to aid in ensuring their students complete a survey.

About the Program

Why the Financial Literacy Debates


The Financial Literacy Debate Series is an excellent opportunity for students to become knowledgeable in highly relevant financial concepts. Financial literacy is an area rarely addressed in school and Americans are still some of the least knowledgeable in areas of basic personal finance. This has magnified repercussions for individuals not privileged with significant wealth. The Financial Literacy Debate Series is intended to introduce particularly relevant financial concepts to the students and to coach the students towards a deep understanding of those concepts, using competitive debate as an added motivator. The expectation is that the foray into the area will induce them to further awareness and exploration that will help them as they leave secondary school.


Financial Literacy Workshops

The roles of the school and the coach are critical to the success of the program. Student participation in the program is for four to five weeks. First, students will take part in financial literacy workshops after school. There will be four after school sessions and each session will be two hours long. These will be scheduled one per week, though the first two could be scheduled for the same week. Each team will take part from their school by logging in to a video conference hosted by the local league and Citi. These sessions will introduce the core concepts and provide students with structure and coaching and feedback to develop a deep understanding of the concepts.


Financial Literacy Tournament

After the workshops, students will take part in a full-day debate tournament during which they will debate about the financial concepts against other teams from other schools. The two top teams from the tournament will then debate each other. This final round will take place on a later day within a week of the tournament. It will be held at a high school in front of an audience of students, who will help judge the round. This will introduce the financial concepts to a broader audience of students.


Goals for Students

The primary goal of the Financial Literacy Debate Series is to improve the financial literacy of students in underserved areas. To ensure we are reaching the right students, schools will be selected based upon their free and reduced lunch percentage. It will not be possible to obtain data on individual student’s financial status, so we will use the school percentage to narrow the implementation.


The participants fall into two discreet groups: the debaters and the public debate audience. The debaters will take part in four after-school forums during which they will be introduced to targeted financial concepts and coached through their research on those areas as they develop their cases for competition. The debaters will compete in a tournament which will choose two top teams and those teams will debate before an audience of their peers.

  • The goals for the debaters are to:
    • improve their general understanding of the importance of financial literacy
    • significantly improve their financial literacy in the area addressed by the event’s resolution
    • improve skills in addressing a public forum
    • engage with professionals in the community who serve as models and mentors
  • The goals for the student audience members are to:
    • improve their general understanding of the importance of financial literacy
    • modestly but measurably improve their financial literacy in the area addressed by the event’sresolution
  • The goals for the league are to:
    • increase the visibility of the league to further engage community partners and the school system
    • increase awareness of the importance of financial literacy at schools served
    • supply a diversity of forums for the debaters