Bloomberg Businessweek: Ohio treasurer plugs new financial literacy effort
By Julie Carr Smyth | Bloomberg Businessweek
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's treasurer launched a state program Tuesday that brings government and business together to help high school students meet the state's new financial literacy requirements.
Republican Josh Mandel said he sees financial education for youth as a must, commending the state Legislature for passing the mandate that kicks in with this school year's graduates.
"My personal feeling is this is one of the main issues facing young people in this country," Mandel told about three dozen high-schoolers gathered for launch of the Financial Edge program at Columbus Downtown High School. "When they graduate high school and graduate college, a lot of them are saddled with enormous debt and other financial burdens and, unfortunately, have a strike or two against them when they're going out into the work world."
The program provides free downloadable course materials, an online resource library and interactive programs and games provided through a public-private partnership with EverFi, a leading education technology company, to help districts meet the mandate.
Mandel said the initiative will begin in urban school systems, but the resources are available in school districts across the state.
He told the students that being financially literate can help them to avoid excessive debt and predatory lending schemes.
A state law passed in 2006 required all public, private and charter high schools to integrate economics and financial literacy into one or more core social studies classes or into another class.
In developing the offering, schools were required to make available public-private partnerships, resources and materials that exist in business, industry and college-level economics education centers. Mandel said his effort helps schools meet the law's requirements.
State law also bars most Ohio public colleges and universities from accepting students for admission after this year who don't pass a financial literacy course, Mandel said.