Saving for college is a big deal. We can make it easy for every public school family by adopting a program piloted in San Francisco. The program would automatically fund a savings account with $50 when a child enters kindergarten. This modest investment (approximately 5000 accounts each year would total $250,000) could come from PILOT fees collected by EDGE. Private philanthropy and banks could help encourage children, parents and friends to contribute additional money to the accounts with matching programs.

The program would help ensure that every child in Shelby County can save for post-secondary education. This is a powerful, ongoing investment in a stronger, healthier county. College-educated people are a critical part of a city’s success. They’re more likely to have jobs, open businesses, and contribute to the tax base. Also, the accounts would serve as a financial education tool throughout each child’s school years, helping foster a more money-smart population.

For more information about how this program could work, take a look at this study.