Money mgmt. soon required in OH high schools

The three R's of education are reading writing and arithmetic. Another course is about to be added to the list here in Ohio.

It's something all of us at sometime or another should study: personal finance. Soon, it will become a mandatory course in Ohio high schools.

News 11's Dick Berry reported from the Wood County Bureau at Levis Commons. At Bowling Green State University, the bills are already mounting for college students News 11 talked to today.

It's a fact of life for many students at BGSU and other schools -- they're in debt. Last year alone, BGSU students borrowed $129 million to attend school. Their debt worries don't end there. Many are piling up bills they can't pay on credit cards.

The solution: mandatory personal finance classes in high school. That's going to happen in 2010 as the result of a bill sponsored by Ohio Treasurer Richard Cordray. "Everyone of us knows that we don't know as much as we'd like about managing our finances. If we don't make good financial decisions, we're in trouble all of our lives." Cordray is the keynote speaker at a smart money workshop for high school educators learning about the personal finance mandate.

The need is there. BGSU even has a student money management services office. Students get advice on how to develop a budget, which is something educators believe should start in high school. Duane Whitmire of the student money management services office said, "I personally don't see a problem with starting financial education at the youngest age possible. The more they learn, the better role model they have at a young age. The better off financially they'll be down the road."

Mike Guilfoyle has been teaching a high school personal finance course for fifteen years where it's an elective course. "I think it's one of the most beneficial things they'll take because the topics that we teach they are going to use for the rest of their life."

Students who talked to News 11 agree. BGSU student Chris Greggila said, "It would have helped me learn what to do, so I can take out the right loans that aren't going to kill me."

At the same time, students will keep a good credit rating alive.

Posted by LS