San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom joined other city and community leaders today to announce a new savings account program designed to put all children in the city on the path to college.
The Kindergarten to College program will open a savings account with an initial seed deposit of $50 for every kindergartener entering public school in the city, according to the mayor's office. Lower-income students will be eligible for an additional $50 deposit.
The program, billed by the mayor's office as the first of its kind in the nation, is aiming to help families start saving for college while also getting more children to aspire to go to college.
"There's no better long-term investment we can make as a city than helping our kids go to college," Newsom said in a statement. "Kindergarten to College will provide working families with the financial tools to turn a college education for their child from a distant dream to a practical reality."
Newsom was joined at today's announcement by Supervisors Bevan Dufty and David Campos, San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Carlos Garcia, City Treasurer Jose Cisneros, and representatives of various nonprofits and Citibank, which will be creating, opening and managing the accounts.
There will be accounts for about 1,200 students at 18 schools in the first year of the program starting this fall, according to the mayor's office.
EARN, a San Francisco nonprofit, will match the first additional $100 that each family puts in their children's accounts, while the San Francisco Foundation, another local nonprofit, has pledged to fund additional savings matches and incentives as the program is rolled out.
"Kindergarten to College plants the seed that says, 'You will graduate from college someday,' as soon as our students enter elementary school," Garcia said in a statement.
"By making this long-term investment in our children's education, business and civic leaders are truly investing in a better future for everyone."