by Scott McClallen
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer awarded $1 million to two Children’s Savings Account (CSA) pilot programs, which will provide education money for 1,960 Michigan kids.
Battle Creek Community Foundation and Wayne Metro Community Action Agency will receive a $500K grant to create CSA programs.
“By investing $1 million into the Children’s Savings Account pilot program, we are expanding opportunities and improving outcomes for Michigan’s children,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Children’s savings accounts offer an exciting platform to help families build wealth and pay for educational expenses, including extracurricular activities that are critical to a child’s development. We will continue working with our philanthropic partners to build children’s saving account pilot programs in urban and rural regions of Michigan and keep finding ways to empower every Michigander to chase their potential.”
Earlier in 2022, $1 million was given to the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM) to develop a statewide children’s savings account program. CEDAM will help the two above entities expand access to CSA programs.
Michigan’s birth rate is dropping, and its growth rate has slowed for two decades. CNBC says college costs have increased by 169% since 1980.
In contrast, some college degrees are less valuable as many companies toss education requirements in a tight labor market.
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For example, Central Michigan University has lost nearly 30% of student enrollment since the 2012-13 school year.
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Kim Trent, Deputy Director for Prosperity at the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, welcomed the program.
“Battle Creek Community Foundation and Wayne Metro Community Action Agency have solid plans to execute the children’s savings account seed money through philanthropy and partnerships that will help Michigan families grow their future savings,” Trent said in a statement.
The Battle Creek Community Foundation will use the money to create 360 CSA accounts for the underserved school districts of Harper Creek Community Schools and Pennfield Schools, starting in kindergarten.
Wayne Metro Community Action Agency will aim to create 1,600 CSA accounts for all students enrolled in 14 Wayne Metro Head Start locations and Renaissance Head Start and Urban Neighborhood Initiative’s out-of-school programs.
Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.
Photo “Gretchen Whitmer” by Gretchen Whitmer.