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High school seniors required to know financial basics

 
High school seniors required to know financial basics
Posted Tuesday, September 3rd 2013 @ 1pm  by WTVN Newsroom

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Ohio's treasurer announced a new state program that will bring government and business together to offer financial education programs to high school students.

"It's important that they enter college and enter the workforce with the tools in their tool belt to make good financial decisions," said State Treasurer Josh Mandel.

He says this is a way to help school districts meet a new state-mandated financial literacy requirement. High school seniors are required to take some type of financial course before they graduate. The state law, passed in 2007, does not mandate what program schools use. Mandel says this is an option that is free to schools.

"The more we can educate Americans when they're in high school I think the less chance there is of them falling in trouble when they are in their 40s and 50s and have a couple kids, a mortgage, and two cars and starting to think about retirement," he said.

The initial phase of the program will be introduced in urban school systems, with the same resources made available to school districts across Ohio.

Many of the resources in the program are available on the Treasurer's Office website. Mandel says they've already talked about the program with more than 500 educators from around the state, but the level of his office's involvement will vary from school to school.

Maxine Robinson, a senior at Columbus Downtown High School, likes the program so far. She says it's useful information that she'll need for life, probably more than algebra.

"I'm like 'I don't know when I'm ever going to use this' but balancing a checkbook, that's really important," she said.

Robinson says mandating financial literacy is a good thing because it means every student, not just a few, will get the information they need to manage their money. She says the program takes complicated financial topics and breaks it down to make it easier to understand.

Mandel says the aim of his office's program is to make financial information fun so students want to learn it.

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