Financial literacy classes now mandatory for high school students in Ohio


According to a new law, high school students in Ohio will need to pass at least one half-credit course in financial literacy in order to graduate.

The legislation, called Senate Bill 1 and enacted Oct. 28 by Governor Mike DeWine, states that high schools may offer a financial literacy course as an elective or math course starting in the 2022-2023 school year.

Students attending non-public schools or other charter schools are exempt from the requirement unless they attend a school “under a state scholarship program,” the law says.

Beginning in the 2024-2025 school year, each school district must require that a teacher have a validation of a Financial Literacy Educator’s License to provide this instruction, as required by law. Teachers who hold a valid educator’s license or approval to teach social science, family and consumer science, or business education are exempt from the financial literacy license validation requirement.

FILE – A close-up of multiple credit cards is displayed in one file image. (Photo by Fairfax Media via Getty Images via Getty Images)

The cost of obtaining a financial literacy license validation for teachers will be covered by the district. There are also opportunities for reimbursement by the Ohio Department of Education to “qualifying entities,” as part of a financial education fund for high schools, as required by law.

“The goal of the Ohio elementary and secondary education system is to prepare all students and seamlessly connect them to success in life beyond high school graduation, which the next step is to enter the labor market, to start an apprenticeship, to engage in post-secondary training. high school, serve in the military or pursue a college education, ”says SB 1.

The bill was sponsored by State Senator Steve Wilson, R-Maineville, and Senator Rob McColley, R-Napoleon.

“Financial literacy is essential for success in life. Thank you to everyone who worked on this essential legislation for giving our students the tools they need to be successful, ”Wilson wrote on Twitter.

“It is our duty as a state to ensure that our education system prepares Ohio students for success,” McColley added in a statement to WLWT-TV. “There are few things that will prepare someone better for success than an understanding of basic financial literacy.”

Ohio school districts already offer some form of financial education as a condition of graduation, according to the Ohio Department of Education model curriculum. However, each district determines how best to meet the needs of its students to meet this requirement.

“Some districts are adding a separate course as a local graduation requirement, while others are incorporating financial literacy content into a course that already exists,” the department says online.

Montgomery County Education Services Center Superintendent Shannon Cox told the Dayton Daily News that the new law adds “rules on who can teach it and for what credit he can count … there are therefore differences to be resolved”.

“A social studies teacher can teach it, but it can’t count towards a social studies credit, which is a bit of an inconvenience,” Cox added.

Financial literacy has become a growing priority in schools, according to NerdWallet, a website offering information on personal finance. The number of states requiring personal finance education in schools has more than doubled in the past decade, according to the outlet.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also sparked interest in the topic. In 2021, lawmakers in more than 20 states introduced bills to add personal finance classes to high schools, NerdWallet reports.

SB 1 also addresses the shortage of available substitute teachers, allowing districts in the 2021-2022 school year to hire someone “who does not have a post-secondary degree” but responds to others. requirements.

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This story was reported from Cincinnati.



Louis R. Hancock

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