others. Of course, there are numerous other forms of high interest loans, and they can be compared and contrasted. And solutions have been proposed. What, for example, is the postal banking campaign and how does it address predatory payday loan centres? There are other things beyond interest

rates that impact savings. For example, the corporate tax rate has an impact on how many dollars from the corporate world are returned to governments to pay for the ser- vices we hold dear. As the Panama Papers made abundantly clear in 2016, money can be easily hidden in offshore tax havens. Mi- chael Cuenco at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives points out that 900 Cana- dian individuals and corporations were iden- tified as minimizing their tax returns. With close to 200 billion dollars sitting in the top tax havens around the world, the Canadian government ends up with about eight billion fewer dollars per year, according to the non- profit Canadians for Tax Fairness. Students could develop a plan for how to use that missing money in the event that our govern- ment closed tax loopholes.

Financial Literacy: Bring It On

In 2005, I wrote a book called Maththatmat- ters, a collection of 50 lessons linking mathe- matics and social justice. It was published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, who in June 2020 made the resource freely available


tions/reports/math-matters. Looking back, these are the lessons that might fit well in a classroom talking about financial literacy:



Who Runs the Show Corporations In the Zone

Side Lined Some “Fare” Better

Export Processing Zones

How Poverty Lines Are Determined

Social Assistance

Than Others The Weekend’s Here Unions Kidfluence

Totally SAP-ped Marketing to Kids

Welcome to the Club Comparing the Top and Bottom Decile

Structural Adjust- ment Programs

The Return of Tobin The Tobin Tax Hood

Just Desserts? Salary Comparisons

More recently, Maththatmatters 2 was pub- lished with 50 new lessons. Again, there are many options to work with to teach financial literacy. Here are a few of them:

LESSON TITLE Paying for It

Mouseprint Fare Prices

Mapping Access Thin

TOPIC Unpaid Labour

Shark Infested Waters Predatory Payday Loans

What the Large Print Giveth, the Small Print Taketh Away

Fair Transit Pricing Food Deserts

The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty’s Special Diet Allowance

Pillaging the Public Public Private Purse-P3s

Partnerships The government’s press release about the

new math curriculum explains “Educators will…continue to benefit from investments in professional development and math supports, including $10 million for board-based math learning leads, $15 million for school-based math learning facilitators and $15 million to support release time for educators to become expertly familiar with the curriculum.” While the timing of this new curricu-

lum is undeniably poor and the support for implementation insufficient, there is an op- portunity here. Let’s flip the script, and help students understand the world in order to change it for the better. n

David Stocker is a member of the Elementary Teachers of Toronto and author of Maththatmatters: A teacher resource linking math and social justice (eds. 1 and 2).


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