Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has signed into law a bill that requires students to pass a financial literacy program to graduate.

Credit card debt, the student loan debt crisis, and the number of bankruptcy filings,  are part of a sum of a nationwide economic picture that shows millions of adults and teens can benefit from education about finances.

That's why State Representative Al Cutrona 59th Dist. (R-OH) co-sponsored legislation that requires before students in public schools graduate, they must take a course in financial literacy beginning with the 2024-2025 school year.

"If people were able to understand this at an early age they would be better set going forward," said State Representative Curtrona.

Cutrona says it's important to help teens make good decisions and avoid financial mistakes that can increase costs for them for years or decades.

 The financial literacy course will include information on budgeting, saving, and investing to help create a better financial future for students.

"This is something regardless of where you live, regardless of your zip code, all children across the board will benefit and doing it sooner rather than later is paramount," emphasized Cutrona.

College student Kaitlyn Shaffer says a financial literacy course she took in  high school, helps her manage her money by thinking about purchases she makes, where she attends college, and about being financially responsible since choices she makes now will have an impact later.

"I think teens definitely need to know the background of what's going on financially so they don't like make one wrong mistake, and they're in debt," said Shaffer.

Cutrona and lawmakers in Ohio believe financial literacy can help students whether they are buying a car or leasing, deciding whether to go to college or a community college first, going to a trade school, or buying a home, students should have a financial education before they graduate from high school so they can make better financial decisions.

State Representative Cutrona tells WFMJ News knowing about interest and how it compounds is critical for students.

Cutrona added, "No body wants to come back in hindsight and say man I wish I would have known doing this means I have to pay a house mortgage for student debt."

Ohio is the tenth state nationwide to mandate this and it's the largest state with more than 600 public school districts.