Monday, May 22, 2006

Lone Peak High School


Christian's wife Marissa Burridge was born and raised in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Marissa's high school debate coach, Mrs. Claudia Stillman invited Christian to speak to her Government and Civics class at Lone Peak High school.
Christian, a consumer rights lawyer, taught the students about personal financial responsibility. Christian shared some stories about how he has witnessed many of his clients run into finacial ruin and eventually having to file for bankruptcy. He later discussed how to avoid bankruptcy and how to maintain a healthy credit score. He said, "This fall many credit card companies will be trying to get you to sign up for credit cards at college. It is okay to use credit, but be wise in their use. Later on you will need your credit to buy a car and a house when you get married."

Christian later discussed the importance of voting and being part of the political process. He said that this generation needs to stand up and vote so student loans and pell grants will be protected. He pledged to stand up for students in Congress.

"This Congress has gotten rid of pell grants and subsidized student loans. With the raising cost of tuition this next generation of students needs to stand up for their interests when it comes to whom they vote for."

We provided the students the link to this blog.

To the students: If any of you are reading, educate yourselves on the issues at stake this year, on the candidates and their platforms. Decide for yourselves who will be the best representative of the ideals that you hold. The ability to politically participate is a gift from our forbears that is too precious to disregard.

If anyone is interested in volunteering, send an email to me with relevant information (name, phone number, email, how many hours/week available, activity preferences) provided therein.


Blogger Benjamin J Burr said...

I have posted a link to the burridgeforcongress blog on my blog. I have spent most of my time discussing issues that are relevant to Republicans for the convention and the upcoming primaries. However, I also want to use my blog to discuss my views on the Democrats as well.

On Burridge's website his blogmaster writes of his recent visit to Lone Peak High School. First of all, I want to say that this is good. However, I hope that the teacher also tried to bring in a Republican candidate as well to give our students a balanced forum for debate. I certainly don't want to see our public schools become feeder stock source for any political party. I also hope that Burridge and other congressional candidates can find their way into other schools. A visit to a title 1 elementary school would be very educational indeed for a candidate of either party.

The blog discusses how Christian taught the high school students about avoiding personal debt and credit card responsibility. My problem comes when Burridge then teaches the students about the importance of voting by discussing how Congress has reduced the availability of Pell grants and subsidized loans. There seems to be a conflicting message here. Message #1: You should be financially independent and wise with your money. Message #2: You should rely on the federal government to pay for your college education.

I went to college, and I now teach at English at BYU. If I could have a Pell grant for every time I met a student with a Pell grant that didn't need it or deserve it, I could probably buy a house. I paid for my college education by working and going to school at the same time. I will finish my Masters degree without taking out a dime in student loans. I am pretty strongly opposed to politicians going into our high schools and telling students that they are entitled to a free college education courtesy of the federal government.

If I were to go to this high school class I would ask the students if any of them want to go to the Marriot School of Management. (If this class was anything like my high school classes, the boys would all raise their hands). I would then say, "Good luck! You have your work cut out for you. Did you know that because BYU admits students who pay for their education with federal grants that BYU has to adhere to federal standards of enrollment? This means that the Marriot School of Management can only admit a limited number of white male students. Even though all of you would like to get into to that program, only a small percentage will actually be accepted regardless of your academic performance and business experience. The best thing you can do as a young generation of voters will be to vote for leaders who will eliminate the federal government's intrusion into our higher education system (which by the way is the only level of education that truly works in this country becuase it actually encourages excellence and competition as opposed to our federally funded public education system that encourages mediocrity and entitlement)."

I would have then taken time to teach the students about 529 Education Savings Plans. These are custodial investment acocunts that grow tax free like an IRA. Not only would teaching students about these plans encourage them to take their future into their own hands, these acocunts will also teach them to become disciplined investors. They will learn the advantages of growing wealth in tax free accounts; this will encourage many of them to open IRAs and reduce the social security burden. When they have a stake in the economy, they will become more politically active by default (but they will probably be Republicans).

At the risk of sounding too conservative, I am going to say that a generation of high school students with a stake in the economy and a stake in their future sounds a lot better to me than a generation of high school students that feel the federal government owes them an education.

7:09 AM  
Blogger drew said...

Mr. Burr, your argument is sound, but you must keep in mind an education at BYU is a steal. Even going to the Marriot School (or any other BYU graduate program) is very cheap. The federal government doesn't owe me an education, but if I think they can help. I want to go the the University of Chicago for graduate school. It's $35,000 a year. I like to think my aggressive saving strategies and hard work ethic would get me through without debt, but it just wont happen. I wonder, do you support getting rid of GI grants? A vetran can work his or her way through school just like I am now (or you did).

1:18 PM  
Blogger Jackjoshua said...

Hey.... you can review and apply online for credit card here. It is free!

7:41 AM  

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