AEDI Hosts CSA Conference Highlighting Latest Research Findings
The Center on Assets, Education and Inclusion (AEDI) at the University of Michigan School of Social Work hosted the Children’s Savings Accounts in 2019 conference May 8-10. The event brought together nearly 100 experts from the children’s savings field, including practitioners, researchers, funders, financial institutions as well as several international guests. Trina Shanks presented new research on the impact of the Michigan SEED demonstration in Pontiac, MI; and Terri Sabol delved into measures of college-bound identity among low-income, ethnically diverse children.
Nebraska Legislature Unamimously Approves Universal CSA Program
Championed by Nebraska Treasurer John Murante and a bipartisan group of senators, Nebraska’s legislature unanimously approved a universal CSA program, the Meadowlark Scholarship Program, set to launch January 1, 2020. The legislation, which Governor Pete Ricketts signed on May 31, has a range of 529 provisions including a savings match for families making below 250% of the federal poverty level.
Colorado Passes Universal CSA Legislation
Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed House Bill 1280 on May 13, providing all Colorado newborns with a $100 CSA starting in 2020. On a less positive note, the legislation requires parents or caregivers to claim the account by the time their child turns five years old. If they don’t claim the account, the $100 seed will go to another child’s account. Prosperity Now’s Carl Rist recently wrote a blog post arguing that CSA programs should not include “account claiming” provisions.
Bipartisan Coalition Passes CSA Legislation in Illinois
The Illinois State Senate passed CSA legislation with a strong, bipartisan majority of 40-15 on May 30. The bill, which is expected to be signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker, will automatically give all children born or adopted in Illinois a $50-seeded 529 account, though parents will have to claim the account within 10 years. Campaign partner, the Illinois Asset Building Group, played a pivotal role in advocating for the legislation.
$500,000 for Saint Paul CSA Program Included in Omnibus Spending Bill
An omnibus spending bill that was just signed into law includes $500,000 in state funding for College Bound Saint Paul, a program set to launch January 1, 2020. This funding is designed to support the Saint Paul program as a pilot for potential statewide expansion. This marks the first time that a state legislature has directly appropriated public funds for a local CSA program.
CSA and College Promise Integration Linked to Improved School Performance, Study Finds
A recent Children and Youth Services Review study found that having a CSA and a College Promise scholarship is associated with higher math and reading scores, especially for children receiving free or reduced-price lunch. Children with both a CSA and a scholarship had higher scores than children who only had a CSA. These findings show how CSA and Promise programs complement each other.