DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Bill 1 recently signed by Governor Mike DeWine will require public school students to take a semester financial literacy course which will count as half of a credit.

“Most schools have had financial literacy curriculum embedded in their course work already,” said Montgomery County Educational Service Center Superintendent Shannon Cox. “That has been something that’d been asked to be done for the last several years, and all school districts again public…have adhered to that. Most of the time it was embedded in a social studies or math class. Not this legislation says it has to be a stand-alone class.”

In a statement from Beavercreek City Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bobbie Fiori regarding Bill 1, their district has been offering financial literacy instruction to students through social studies curriculum for years. The statement saying in part,

“Recognizing the importance of this topic for students and in anticipation of this requirement, we started offering personal finance as a stand-alone course in the 2020-2021 school year and made it a requirement for graduation beginning with the class of 2024.”

Beavercreek City Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bobbie Fiori

Superintendent Cox says that while these classes are important, they will have a significant impact on students and their class schedules. “Knowing this is a mandate that will take up at least a semester of what would typically have been assigned as a fine arts class or an elective class.”

Along with scheduling, staffing and funds also prove to be a potential issue. “There is language in senate bill 1 that the district has to cover the validation of a teacher. But, the department of education will reimburse the school district $500,” said Cox.

Ohioans Josh and Diana Presnell have children in local schools. While this bill makes sense to them, their concerns lay with funding.

“I think it’s a good thing and a necessary thing to add to the Ohio curriculum,” said Josh.

“My biggest worry is about the way it’s implemented. You know, adding it to the curriculum isn’t that big of a deal, but the licensure requirements that come with it, unless the state actually allocates appropriate funding to go along with these new requirements, it’s just going to be one of these requirements that we have to suck up and pay for.”

Public school students heading into 9th grade on or following July 1 next year will be required to take this course. Also, Ohio school district or chartered non-public schools will be required to have a teacher with an educators license that’s sufficient in financial literacy by the 2024-2025 school year.

“No one questions whether students should have financial literacy when they graduate from high school, no one is questioning that. I think it’s a matter of why did we need to do it this way after the way we were doing it, and why does it apply to only public schools,” said Cox.