L.A. City Council Throws Support Behind Statewide Child Savings Program

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles City Council today voiced support for a proposal by Gov. Gavin Newsom to provide a one-time investment of $50 million supporting increased access to child savings accounts for incoming kindergartners.

The unanimously approved resolution comes as the City Council has been exploring its own child savings account program.

``The future of our city and our state will be built by our young people,'' said Councilman David Ryu, who has been leading the City Council's effort to create a child savings program. ``Investing in education is an investment in ourselves, and in the unlimited potential of the next generation.''

Under a version of a savings program under consideration by the city, $50 would be deposited in a savings account for each kindergartner upon enrollment in a district school, and that contribution could potentially be matched by private donors. The cost could be between $2.7 million and $3.4 million annually for the city, and the account could grow to hundreds of dollars by the time a child graduates, according to a city report.

The council also approved a resolution calling for the state to commit an additional $113 million for after-school education and safety programs across California.

``The two resolutions approved today affirm the city of Los Angeles' commitment to education, after-school programs, and Gov. Newsom's historic investments in our children's potential,'' Ryu said. ``I'm thrilled to see my colleagues take up these resolutions, and stand firmly in support of our kids and the resources they need to succeed. Governor Newsom's $50 million investment in children's savings account pilot programs comes at the perfect time for Los Angeles' children's savings account program, which we hope to launch in 2020.''

Erin Thiemann of Prosperity Now, which is helping the city develop its program, told a City Council committee last year that research shows child savings accounts can increase a student's likelihood of attending college, and that according to the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, a low-to moderate-income child with $500 or less designated for school savings is three times more likely to enroll and nearly four times more likely to graduate from college than a child with no savings.

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