On Tuesday, House Education and Career Readiness Committee voted 11-8 to favorably report House Bill 108 out of committee. This served as a major step forward in requiring high school students to take a financial literacy course before graduating.
Ohio stands in the last group of states that does not have financial literacy as a graduation requirement. However, there are financial literacy standards formulated by the Department of Education. There are many different programs statewide, whether they are in-school or out-of-school that teaches financial literacy. HB 108 would streamline all of these programs into one requirement and ensure that every child who graduates in Ohio has adequate personal financial skills taught to them by someone who is certified to be doing so.
In the workplace, studies have shown employees who are in solid financial standing have greater morale and typically have a higher level of productivity. This, along with the streamlining of the graduation requirement, is why the Ohio Chamber has supported this bill from its inception and testified as a proponent to the legislation back in March of 2017. HB 108 puts in place a requirement for one semester of instruction in economics and financial literacy in either the high school social studies curriculum or as part of the specified elective subject areas.
Additionally, it specifies that an individual who has a valid educator’s license to teach social studies, business education, or consumer and family sciences may teach the study of financial literacy. The requirement for a high school student to take financial literacy before graduating remains a top priority of the Education and Workforce Development Committee within the Ohio Chamber.
We look forward to the bill making its way to the Senate, where one of the sponsors of HB 108 (then-Representative) now-Sen. Rob McColley is serving, for consideration.