Legislative Watch – September 29, 2021

SB 1 – Ohio House Passes Financial Literacy Graduation Requirement and Extends Substitute Teacher Hiring Flexibility

The Ohio House of Representatives has passed SB 1 (9.29.21), a bill that creates a half-unit financial literacy requirement for graduation. The bill also extends for the 2021-22 school year temporary flexibility for districts to hire substitutes that do not have a four-year degree. The next step for SB 1 will be a Senate vote to concur in House changes to the bill, most likely to occur next week. OEA has engaged with stakeholders as an Interested Party on SB 1.

SB 1 does the following:

  • Requires students who enter ninth grade for the first time on or after July 1, 2022, to complete a half-unit of instruction in financial literacy as part of the required high school curriculum.
  • Overall graduation requirement of 20 units remains the same. Students can take the financial literacy course by using a half-unit of elective credit (out of 5 elective units) or in lieu of one-half unit of instruction in math. The math course cannot be Algebra II, or its equivalent, or a course for which the State Board requires an end-of-course examination (algebra I and geometry).
  • Beginning with the 2024-2025 school year, an educator license validation in financial literacy will be required to provide financial literacy instruction for high school credit. Exempted from this validation requirement are those who have a license or endorsement required to provide instruction in social studies, family and consumer sciences, or business education. For individuals that obtain a financial literacy validation, a school district must cover up to $500 of the cost and the district is reimbursed by state funds.
  • Substitute Teacher Amendment: Extends through the 2021-22 school year temporary flexibility for districts to hire substitutes that do not have a four-year degree. The rationale for this extension are substitute shortages exacerbated by Covid-19. This provision contains an “emergency clause” and therefore would go into effect immediately if the Senate concurs in House changes and the Governor signs the bill.