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Support for Children's Savings Account Strategies

We propose capitalizing on the scaffolding of existing CSA programs across the country (e.g., PA, CA, CO, NM, NB, and St. Paul, MN) to tape into state and city policies funded but not being fully spent by adapting Senator Corey Booker’s Baby Bonds proposal to include additional targeted deposits for poor and minority children. In doing so, we propose to adapt small dollar CSA accounts into tools that can combat wealth and educational equality in America. This moment in our history, a moment of global pandemic and racial unrest, calls for solutions that rise to the moment. Research done by the Institute on Assets and Social Policy illustrates the potential transformative nature of this proposal. They find that a universal, progressive children's asset-building intervention with an initial deposit of $7,500 for low-wealth households and incremental declines to $1,250 for the highest-wealth households could close the Black/White wealth gap by 23% and the Latino/White wealth gap by 28%. Converting small dollar CSAs into large dollar CSAs through existing funding streams might be a powerful way to tackle wealth and educational inequality in America. We plan to build the evidence to achieve such change.

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