A Case for CSA’s in NM

A Case for CSA’s in NM

The Situation in New Mexico:

With almost half of children under 5 in New Mexico living in poverty a future of failure is being written for them that is unconscionable and extremely costly.  The corrosive effects of unequal family resources, disadvantaged neighborhoods, insecure labor markets, and worsening school conditions on K-12 education is undermining one of the most important goals of public education—the ability of schools to provide children with an equal chance at academic and economic success.

Facts that Create Futures of Hope and Prosperity:

  • Asset-building policies that extend early access to savings accounts improve saving outcomes for young people from lower income households.
  • Children savings accounts, CSA’s, interact with developmental stages to motivate and facilitate savings.
  • Research and practice have shown that family ownership of even a few thousand dollars in assets can give children not only a measure of economic security, but also a transformative sense of possibility and hope for the future [1]
  • Children with savings in their name are given a stake in their future. As such, they are more inclined to take control over their educational experience and feel more empowered to attend college and persist through graduation [2]
  • While CSAs might be usefully promoted as a potential solution to inequality, asset poverty, low household and national savings, lack of opportunity, college affordability, and financial capability, and may in fact address each of these issues to some extent,

CSAs should be viewed foremost in simple terms as saving and investing for future economic security and development.

[1]    CFED

[2]    William Elliot, New America Foundation, 2011