Last week, the Ohio Senate introduced their first two bills of the 134th General Assembly. Senate Bill 1 is a reintroduction of Senate Bill 342 of the 133rd General Assembly. SB 1 is legislation that would require each student graduating from high school in Ohio to pass a course on financial literacy. This bill is a priority measure for the Chamber’s Education and Workforce Development Committee.
SB 1 would require students to take a one-half unit course in Financial Literacy which schools can choose to incorporate into two required social studies units. This bill would also require teachers to obtain a license validation for them to be able to teach financial literacy. These two requirements will provide a strong uniformity to Ohio’s educational standards.
The bill would also create the “High School Financial Literacy Fund,” which would be housed under the state treasury. The fund can consist of moneys appropriated to it, any interest or earnings from the fund and any donations, grants, gifts or moneys received. Additionally, districts or schools are required to cover the costs of teacher’s additional licensure requirement. The district or school may then seek reimbursement from the department of education for these costs; these reimbursements are paid out of the new high school literacy fund.
We believe strongly in the value of learning sound personal finance, and we also understand that this type of education is certainly occurring all throughout the state of Ohio already. Quite simply, we believe that SB 1 will ensure that each student graduating in the state of Ohio will be equipped with an adequate and sound level of financial literacy that will prepare them to enter the next stage of their life. Whether that is pursuing college or other post-secondary options, or going directly into the workforce, the foundation of having adequate understanding of finances will benefit them greatly. Last December, the Ohio Chamber offered support for SB 342 and we are hopeful that this time around, with the Ohio Senate making this measure a priority, that it will move quickly through the legislative process.