Minnesota School of Business-Richfield’s Accounting Degree Program Chair, Chris Strand, recently visited South Education Center Alternative (SECA) in Richfield—a hop, skip, and a jump away from our own campus. Chris spoke to approximately 20 students in Peter Rantanen’s Government class at SECA. He talked about taxes—not so much the process of filing, but the why and how of taxation in America.
SECA is an alternative education high school program for students, ages 12-21, and the babies of enrolled students. The school provides educational opportunities for students who need to recover high school credits, work on the development of basic skills, and for pregnant and parenting teens. About 160 high school students and 28 babies are currently enrolled.
According to the SECA website, the program has three components:
- Work-based alternative program for grades 9 through 12. Employed students attend school four hours and then go to work sites; if unemployed, they attend six hours.
- Program for pregnant and parenting students in grades 7 through 12. Programming includes two hours in childcare classes.
- Early Learning Center
Kelly Brinkman, who works in MSB’s admissions department, originally contacted Peter to see if he and his students would be interested in her presentations on how the U.S. government works, including citizenship, Congress, the presidency and the branches of government.
“He said they looked okay, but his students had recently been asking a lot of questions about taxes,” Kelly explained. “He wanted to know if I could provide a presentation on taxes. I’m not a tax expert, but I figured our great accounting chair, Chris Strand, would be a wonderful resource about the topic.”
So, Kelly set up the unique presentation. Chris discussed with the students some of the social reasons behind the current taxation system. He explained why there are tax breaks for married couples and homeowners, among other things.
“Chris’s presentation to the students at SECA was phenomenal!” Kelly said.
Peter echoed Kelly’s enthusiasm, saying it was a great experience for his students. “The students were very interested in the topic and presentation.”
Being an integral part of the community is important to Minnesota School of Business. Demonstrating our We Care mission is just one of the many reasons why opportunities such as these are embraced.
“This was a great opportunity to provide a service that the teacher and school both wanted and needed, at no cost to them,” Kelly said. “It helps build trust and credibility for our wonderful faculty and programs, and it creates a positive impression on the high school students.”
Chris shared some fun facts about taxes (oxymoron? I think not!). Bet you didn’t know that:
- Taxes are known to date back 4,500 years when the citizens of Mesopotamia paid their taxes in the form of livestock.
- The first U.S Income Tax was assessed in 1861 to help pay for the Civil War. The Supreme Court later ruled the income tax to be unconstitutional. In 1913 the 16th Amendment was ratified making the income tax legal in the U.S.
- In 1950 the top bracket rate for income tax in the U.S was 92%.