Literacy is likely to become a requirement for Ohio students

In the series of bills proposed in Columbus, one of the bills likely to be passed by the Ohio Legislature is Senate Bill 1. in 2022.

Ohio schools have offered elective financial literacy courses for decades, but the bill would make it mandatory to earn half a financial literacy credit to meet graduation requirements.

Wilson, who works as a banker, said the purpose of the bill was to demystify how money works.

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Ray Martinez, president of EVERFI, a financial education company, has been lobbying for 20 years for states to add financial education requirements. Martinez said 135,219 Ohio students have used EVERFI Financial Literacy since the 2016-17 school year. Last year 437 schools offered an EVERFI course attended by 46,344 students

“The basic educational program in our country was designed to teach students reading, writing and math,” he said. “Subjects such as science and social studies were deemed essential and added as well, but the curriculum was never focused on critical topics such as the importance of your credit score, the power of compound interest, identity protection, the functioning of a mortgage and other portfolios. problems. “

Martinez said the number of school systems that have added financial education has increased since the 2008 financial crisis, noting that nearly 45 states have made it a requirement or recommended it as part of their learning standards. .

Martinez said financial literacy tends to be in the hands of parents, but not everyone is equipped to offer money advice to their children.

“Instead of integrating this critical education into schools, we have relied on parents to take responsibility for teaching this content to their children,” he said. “Unfortunately, there is an economic divide in this country and when you expect parents to take care of teaching this subject at home, you are only widening that divide between those who are equipped to have the conversation and those who are not.

“In fact, as we strive to bring this education into the classroom, we have heard from students who take what they learn home and teach it to their parents rather than the other way around.”

Martinez argues that financial literacy education should be taught on a continuum like math and language arts.

“We believe it should be taught to children from an early age,” he said. “It is important that we give our youngest learners and our most at-risk communities the education they need to drive ecosystems of change to break the repetitive cycles we have known for generations.”

Martinez said there are financial education resources that make it easier to implement into the existing curriculum.

“We don’t anticipate any resistance (from teachers) as we know schools in Ohio are already teaching this subject and have found ways to incorporate it into their curriculum,” he said. “We have worked with school districts to facilitate the implementation of this education. For a school district in Ohio, we created curriculum alignment guides for social studies and business content areas to ensure teachers have access to financial education resources from EVERFI. and have a clear understanding of how they can take advantage of these tools in their classroom instruction. We also work closely with the family and consumer science teachers in this district, who regularly implement several EVERFI resources. “

Martinez said Education Secretary Miguel Cardona was among those encouraging schools to offer financial literacy programs.

“There is a shared responsibility between school districts, the state and the federal government to determine what topics should be covered in schools,” Martinez said. “Although it sometimes comes from top to bottom of the federal government, it is the local and state councils that control the program and it is often either the legislature or the state education department that requires this education, but it is not just a state level initiative … Although it is not the role of the federal government to set the curricula across the country, Secretary Cardona encourages states and districts to include better financial literacy courses and programs for students. In fact, last month, senators from both parties introduced a bill that would require students to take a financial literacy course and then be eligible for a program financial counterpart savings pilot. ”

Charita M. Goshay is a writer with the Canton Repository and a member of the Editorial Board. Contact her at 330-580-8313 or charita.goshay@cantonrep.com. On Twitter: @cgoshayREP

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