Commission approves $500K investment in universal Children’s Savings Accounts
Originally published by Miami Community Newspapers
Miami-Dade County commissioners on Oct. 8 passed a resolution granting $500,000 for the expansion of Future Bound Miami, a universal Children’s Savings Account (CSA) program that will be implemented in phases throughout Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
The funds, which will come from the Community Disparities Subcommittee reserve, will provide CSAs with initial “seed” deposits to more kindergarten students in the district. The 10 commissioners in attendance voted unanimously in support of the item.
Future Bound Miami, launched in fall 2019, establishes a CSA for kindergarten students attending 30 elementary schools that feed into the five high schools within the City of Miami. This new investment from the county expands the program to include an additional 98 schools. The goal is to make CSAs available to all kindergarten students in Miami-Dade County Public Schools by 2023.
“By contributing additional seed funding to the Future Bound Miami program, and leveraging it with contributions from the private sector, we are helping to address economic disparities in our county, helping to make our community stronger and more economically resilient,” said Commissioner Eileen Higgins, who championed this legislation.
“Research has proven that these accounts have a positive impact on early childhood development and academic performance, increase future financial capability, and reduce the racial wealth gap. By investing in our children, we’re investing in the future of Miami-Dade,” she added.
Children’s savings accounts put postsecondary education within reach by allowing students and families to accumulate savings and increase educational expectations. Research shows that children with a college savings account of as little as one dollar are three times more likely to go to college and four times more likely to graduate.
“Today’s vote to invest in the future of our youth is a big step forward in reducing Miami-Dade’s wealth gap,” said Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava. “I am a long-time advocate of CSAs because we know they improve early childhood development and academic performance, raise the college expectations of children and parents, and improve the financial future of our children.”
Gretchen Beesing, CEO of Catalyst Miami, said, “Catalyst Miami has been working on this for over five years with a consortium of dedicated partners. We’re thrilled that the BCC has chosen to make this investment in our county’s children.”
To learn more about the program, visit www.futureboundmiami.org.