While politicians in Washington, D.C., squabble over what to do about the fiscal cliff, Houston-area kids are learning to manage their own financial matters.
For more than a decade, Junior Achievement has been hosting the area's fifth graders at BizTown, where they learn about commerce, government and cooperation.
From an elected mayor down to business leaders and employees, the kids call all the shots about making money and paying the bills.
It's supposed to give kids hands-on appreciation for why their classroom lessons matter in real-life.
"They are understanding the influences; their ability to market their product and sell it to their fellow students and how that relates," says Junior Achievement president Rick Franke, "This is a little micro-economy."
The Houston BizTown serves about 12,000 students a year, and was the first of 30 such teaching facilities around the country.