Financial literacy class requirement for graduation begins next school year

Wayne High School teacher Kaylee Robins teaches a financial literacy course that won an award from the Ohio State Treasurer last year. Huber Heights is one of the districts that has a financial literacy class requirement.  MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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Wayne High School teacher Kaylee Robins teaches a financial literacy course that won an award from the Ohio State Treasurer last year. Huber Heights is one of the districts that has a financial literacy class requirement. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Incoming freshman next year face the requirement for graduation.

Next school year, Ohio’s freshmen will be required to take a new semester-long class on financial literacy before graduation due to a new state law.

Some local schools already require a full-length class for their students to graduate or offer a similar class as an elective. What’s more, Ohio students are already required to learn some financial literacy standards in high school classes before graduation.

But some schools will have to add a semester-long class to meet the new requirements in upcoming years.

Stacie Moore, director of secondary education at Miamisburg City Schools, said the district already covers some financial literacy topics in other classes, as required under Ohio law. But the district will need to add the class to the schedule, she said, likely for students in their junior year.

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“We will analyze our current course offerings in the departments with teachers certified to teach the financial literacy course as well as our master schedule to incorporate this new course and requirement in the best manner possible to meet the needs of our students and staff,” Moore said.

Kettering High School offers a version of the financial literacy class as an elective and has elements of financial literacy embedded into career path offerings, said Kari Basson, a spokesman for Kettering City Schools. But she said Kettering will have to reduce the number of sections of career courses to make room for the class.

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Wayne High School teacher Kaylee Robins teaches a financial literacy course that won an award from the Ohio State Treasurer last year. Huber Heights is one of the districts that has a financial literacy class requirement. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFFMARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Wayne High School teacher Kaylee Robins teaches a financial literacy course that won an award from the Ohio State Treasurer last year. Huber Heights is one of the districts that has a financial literacy class requirement.  MARSHALL GORBY\STAFFMARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
Wayne High School teacher Kaylee Robins teaches a financial literacy course that won an award from the Ohio State Treasurer last year. Huber Heights is one of the districts that has a financial literacy class requirement. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFFMARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

“Anytime the state adds new requirements, however well-intentioned, this lessens a student’s option to choose the electives in which they are most interested,” Basson said.

Wayne High School, Stebbins High School and Springboro High School are among the area schools that require financial literacy as a separate class for their students to graduate.

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“The value in offering this type of class is the obvious life skills students need no matter what path they choose after High School,” said Brent Carey, interim principal at Wayne. “Students need exposure to real world applications.”

Students at Wayne can take the required class anytime between their freshman year and their senior year of high school, according to the district’s program of studies for the 2021-2022 school year. In the class, students learn about financial responsibility, planning/budgeting and money management, consumer choices and purchasing decisions, investing, using credit and getting needed insurance, like car, life and health insurances. Wayne won an award from Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague for the class in February 2021.

Combined ShapeCaption
Wayne High School teacher Kaylee Robins teaches a financial literacy course that won an award from the Ohio State Treasurer last year. Huber Heights is one of the districts that has a financial literacy class requirement. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Wayne High School teacher Kaylee Robins teaches a financial literacy course that won an award from the Ohio State Treasurer last year. Huber Heights is one of the districts that has a financial literacy class requirement.  MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
Wayne High School teacher Kaylee Robins teaches a financial literacy course that won an award from the Ohio State Treasurer last year. Huber Heights is one of the districts that has a financial literacy class requirement. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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Andrea Cook, Springboro schools assistant superintendent of instruction, said she believes personal finance is a necessary area for survival. Learning about credit, paying bills, earning income and retirement investing are important skills to learn, she said.

“Financial literacy coursework may deter, through education, these major pitfalls in life that cause undue stress,” Cook said.

Scott Marshall, a spokesman for Springboro schools, said these classes are offered at grades 9-12.

“The feedback we have received has been quite positive and helpful to our students, who are just beginning to work a job, perhaps purchase a car, and/or save for college, etc,” Marshall said.

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