BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Starting this fall, financial literacy will become a required high school course in Ohio. We found out that things have changed when it comes to financial literacy.
Cash is king but like a lot of things in our world, currency has also entered the digital world. While the basics remain the same, the financial world has changed with the rise of apps and cryptocurrency.
“It’s something I’m learning more about so I can teach it. It’s definitely something that kids are interested in because it’s what they hear about and an easy way to make money,” said Noelle Matiste, a business and technology teacher at Boardman High School.
But the staples like loans, 401(k)s, using a checkbook, how to use a credit card and investing in stable options are still important to learn.
“The newer money apps that kids use like Venmo and Cash App and PayPal, that’s something newer that we’re teaching,” Matiste said.
Thanks to Senate Bill 1, these financial literacy courses are a requirement to graduate for students starting high school on or after July 1, 2022. They’ll need to take 60 course hours to get credit.
For some schools, this is already an elective, but now that it’s a requirement, it could cause scheduling issues.
“There’s concern with some of our arts departments about ‘how do we fit this in the schedules?’ Because currently, if a student takes three music classes during the day, they don’t have the room to add an additional elective,” said Boardman High School Principal Mark Zura.
So for students driven to go above and beyond, they’ve created an online class.
“So there will be two different options, either take it online or to take it in the summer if they have a full schedule,” Zura said.
Dr. Brad Maguth, director of the H.K. Barker Center for Education at the University of Akron, advocated for the bill’s passing. He says it’s a historic moment for Ohio.
“I think it’s the reality of the pandemic and what it’s done to households and families and what it’s done to communities, our state. The financial barriers and challenges and how do we help empower families financially and economically,” Dr. Maguth said.
Dr. Maguth said it instructs teachers to teach Ohio high schools financial literacy learning standards, which have been in place since 2019.