SUMMARY OF GRADE
Significant Accomplishments: High school financial literacy instruction requirement; K-12 financial literacy standards; Financial Literacy webpage
Needs Improvement: Needs to require high school stand-alone personal finance course
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK
Amended by 2006 Substitute Senate Bill Number 311, Ohio requires that “each school shall integrate the study of economics and financial literacy, as expressed in the social studies academic content standards… into one or more existing social studies credits required… or into the content of another class, so that every high school student receives instruction in those concepts.” According to the Ohio Department of Education, a high school graduation requirement is to receive instruction in financial literacy. It is up to the local school districts’ discretion as to how the financial literacy instruction is delivered. There are specific Financial Literacy Ohio Learning Standards, in which “schools can teach the high school financial literacy standards as stand-alone courses or integrate them into other appropriate courses.” There are 27 content statements for high school curriculum. Also, in the Social Studies Ohio Learning Standards, there is a section of standards for a high school Economics and Financial Literacy course. While “the inclusion of particular courses in the standards is not meant to require that all of these courses be offered or limit the choice of courses which districts may offer in their social studies programs,” the course has 25 content statements, with 14 being personal finance related.
The Financial Literacy Ohio Learning Standards also include standards for Grades K-12. They are divided into K-3, 4-6, middle grades, and high school bands. “These newly revised and created financial literacy standards help schools understand the essential financial literacy concepts and skills they must teach their students for success in life after high school.” These financial literacy standards help ensure instruction in K-12 curriculum.
The Ohio Department of Education also has a Financial Literacy webpage which “provides information to support educators teaching financial literacy starting in kindergarten and concluding with a high school course that districts may use to teach financial literacy as part of Ohio’s graduation requirements.”
At the time of publication (July 2021), Ohio SB 1, which would require a ½ credit personal finance course for graduation, had passed the Senate and was still active in committee in the House. If Ohio passes this legislation, they will move from a “B” to an “A.”
Ohio receives a “B” for ensuring financial literacy instruction in kindergarten through 12th grade through its grade-specific financial literacy standards and requirement of financial literacy instruction embedded into a high school course. In order to receive an “A,” Ohio needs to make the high school requirement into a stand-alone course rather than leaving the implementation to the local districts’ discretion.