Senate District 31
Jay Hottinger
Hottinger Touts New Ohio Law to Improve Students' Financial Literacy
A Guest Column by State Senator Jay Hottinger
December 13, 2021

Alan Greenspan, former Chair of the Federal Reserve appointed by Ronald Reagan, once proclaimed, “The number one problem in today’s generation and economy is the lack of financial literacy.” Indeed, the Ohio Senate also sees financial literacy as a key to not only individual success, but vital for a healthy economy. So much so that Senate Bill 1 was introduced, and recently signed into law by the Governor, making financial literacy an essential component of Ohio’s high school curriculum.

Undoubtedly, we all want our students to receive the best education and to find great success in life. Be that as it may, we are doing them an injustice if we don’t give them the proper tools to manage their success. Senate Bill 1 does just that by requiring students who enter 9th grade, on or after July 1, 2022, to complete one-half unit of financial literacy instruction as part of the required high school curriculum. Financial literacy could incorporate everything from personal finance and budgeting to investing, banking, taxes, retirement, mortgages and credit cards. Furthermore, with record inflation and economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps no time is better than now to instill financial literacy into young adults.

As a state, Ohio is devoted to investing in the wellbeing, education and promise of our students. While we do an excellent job guiding and training our students to join Ohio's workforce, fill Ohio's in-demand jobs, and live out their American dream, there is one key area we can do much better: financial literacy.

When students graduate high school, a strong understanding of personal finance is one of the most important skills they can have to make decisions that will set them up for success for the rest of their life. How to take out a loan, whether for a first home or college, how to file taxes, avoid credit card debt, and how to balance a budget, are among many other financial skills that are needed to secure long-term financial security.

Unfortunately, many of our young adults are leaving high school without these skills and the statistics are staggering. Only 39% of Americans have enough savings to cover a $1,000 emergency situation. Additionally, according to a study by the national Endowment for Financial Education, only 24% of millennials demonstrate basic financial literacy. This is a relatively simple problem that must be addressed if we are serious about the future of Ohio's students and workforce. For these reasons, I was happy to co-sponsor and vote for Senate Bill 1.

If you would like to learn more about Senate Bills 1, please visit
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