Public Debates

Citi Financial Debate Series

On February 8-9, 2019 LAMDL hosted the 2019 Citibank Financial Literacy Debate Series at the University of Southern California. This debate series which is held annually in partnership with the Citi Foundation and the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues, focuses on a topic of personal finance and is an excellent opportunity for LAMDL students to develop their knowledge of key financial concepts. The topic up for debate this year was “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.

A recent survey of US high school students found that nearly 40% of students failed to grasp basic financial concepts and had scores that placed them at the lowest levels of financial literacy. This has significant repercussions because research shows that people with lower financial literacy borrow more, accumulate less wealth, and pay more in fees for financial products. They more likely to have problems with excessive debt and are less likely to invest. They are less likely to know the terms of their debt. Thus the Financial Literacy Debate Series hopes to introduce relevant financial concepts to LAMDL students using competitive debate to ensure students achieve a deeper understanding of those concepts.

This year’s competition featured more than 100 students from 11 local public schools, and culminated in a championship round between Sneh Chachra and Brigitte Rodriguez from Downtown Magnets High School and Gabriella Jimenez and Carolina Moreno Martel from CHAMPS Charter High School. Ultimately the team from Downtown Magnets won the debate, with 4 of the 5 judges siding with them.

Our students had an amazing time and learned lessons that will serve them for a lifetime.

The Citi Financial Literacy Debates will return in the 2020-21 Season.