Starting in 2010, high school students in Ohio will be required to take a personal finance class before graduating. [WTOL11]

(Photo: Getty)

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  1. runpete says:

    Thank you, Ohio! I think a majority of adults need to take this class, too.

  2. Ben Popken says:

    Good!

  3. LostDog says:

    I’m all for personal finance classes for people but I’d wait to see the fine print on this… Chances are it’s a credit card company that sponsors the curriculum and heavy on the “debt is good” message.

  4. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    Kinda makes me want to send my kids to school in Ohio.

  5. JAYEONE says:

    HALLELUJAH!

    (speaking as someone who dropped out of college with 25K in debt because I didn’t know any better)

  6. Nick986 says:

    Good, it should be a national requirement. I see too many fellow students @ USC who have no clue how to manage their money. Just whip that credit card out and pay it off over the next 20 years.

  7. drinktillsheshot says:

    I’m surprised that the banking lobby hasn’t tried to block this.

  8. riggs says:

    Loud, sustained applause for the state of Ohio. There should be more of this-especially since as soon as these kids hit a college campus, they’re instantly inundated with credit card offers.

  9. ElizabethD says:

    I guarantee most of these h.s. grads will use what they learn in this class WAY more than they use trigonometry.

    Wish my kids had to take it.

  10. Believe it or not, a lot of the stuff put out by credit card companies isn’t that bad. [www.practicalmoneyskills.com] is put together by Visa, although you’d barely know it. Lost of good stuff on how to balance checkbooks and figure out interest charges. I was pleasantly surprised when I was looking around for course material when I taught Consumer Ec for 2 years at my HS.

  11. JeffM says:

    Weird… when I graduated high school in Oregon my class was the second senior class to _NOT_ have personal finance… it was cut after 1997. I was lucky enough to have parents that cared enough to talk/teach- I totally agree with those of you that said this is far more important than trigonometry!

  12. JessiesMind says:

    Yeah, I’ll let you all know if this pans out by the time my son graduates in 2015. The schools are always threatening to make “massive staff cuts” unless we pass this or that budget. Eventually, we’re gonna call their bluff. (At least the city I’m in will. I hope.)

  13. CumaeanSibyl says:

    Public schools often do a shit job of teaching history, math, sex-ed, and other subjects, so I don’t see why anybody expects their personal-finance courses will be a rousing success.

  14. Maulleigh says:

    I had to take one of those in highschool. Half a semester. I totally failed it. I had no idea what they were talking about. My dad paid for everything; I babysat for my money. WTF?

  15. mac-phisto says:

    good idea. hard to implement. personal finance is something that is truly difficult to grasp on an abstract level. the biggest hurdle is trying to get students to relate to the subject matter. it’s easy to grasp the basic concept of balancing a checkbook. it’s understanding choice/consequence that’s hard to pass on.

    case in point: i know more than a few individuals that live paycheck to paycheck despite low costs of living (no car payment, live at home, most living expenses covered). they should be rolling in dough with what they pull in, but they’re not. they’re broke. they can’t relate to the idea that their friday paycheck should last them past sunday. they have no concept of saving, no concept of budgeting & i think they represent a pretty large segment of society.

  16. @JeffM: Any idea what used to be taught in that class? It wasn’t all pretending to play the stock market, was it?

  17. JeffM says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation:
    I believe it was just standard personal finance stuff like how to balance your check book and manage money.

  18. treadin_water says:

    Kudos to Ohio for taking the steps to “standardize” a curriculum for their students.

    I used to teach personal finance topics as a small part of 12th grade Economics courses in an inner-city school. Some things I learned while teaching personal finance in schools:

    -In schools with economic diversity, many students will not know what checking or savings accounts are, or what they would be used for.

    -A lot of these students’ families utilize check cashing and payday loans. Students revert back to what they learned from mom, dad, grandma and grandpa.

    -Many of my students considered their earnings as family money, to be turned over immediately to their parents for paying bills or even sending to relatives in prison! Students were not empowered to think individually, making savings an invalid topic.

    -rent-a-center is a way of life. so is drive time auto sales/leasing. students don’t know what interest is. it’s built into the bill and nobody questions it.

    I could go on and on. There are a lot of barriers to break down if Ohio is to succeed teaching all of their students personal finances.