Addressing income inequality is a priority for Mayor Martin J. Walsh, and he has articulated a vision for the City of Boston that focuses on prosperity for Boston’s families. In 2014, he created the Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE), and his administration has crafted progressive policies and programs to begin tackling the roots of economic disparity. Among the OFE’s major initiatives is the Children’s Savings Account (CSA) program. Mayor Walsh wants Boston students to achieve their dreams after high school! The CSA program has dual objectives: (1) to develop and promote a “college-going culture,” and (2) to provide financial education, especially for low-income families and those who are marginalized. The CSA program will provide Boston with an inter-generational approach to eradicate poverty by providing opportunities to build the financial capabilities of Boston’s children, families, and communities.
On March 1, 2016, Mayor Walsh launched the CSA program by announcing the five Boston Public Schools K2 Kindergarten classes that will participate in the fall 2016 launch. The schools were chosen through an application process and represent Charlestown, East Boston, Roslindale, and Hyde Park. Each Kindergartner’s account will receive at least $50 as seed funding to begin the savings process. Research indicates that a student with up to $500 saved for higher education is three times more likely to attend college and four times more likely to graduate. The OFE is very excited about this collaboration with the Boston Public Schools. We also thank our partners at the Eos Foundation for sponsoring the pilot. Please sign up for news/updates to receive future updates on the CSA program and read coverage from the Boston Globe and WBUR.