Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) Join Forces to Reintroduce the American Dream Accounts Act, Show Bipartisanship•
Yesterday was the third convening in our Restoring the American Dream series and marked the reintroduction of the bipartisan American Dream Accounts Act in the Senate.
“I was happy to join Senator Coons and Opportunity Nation yesterday to announce the reintroduction of the American Dream Accounts Act,” said Senator Rubio. “Since its inception, America has been a unique nation where anyone from anywhere can do anything. We must keep it that way and I believe one way to do that is to provide more pathways for children to attend college. The American Dream is what makes our country exceptional, and it is crucial we do everything we can to expand economic mobility and lessen the opportunity gap in America.”
The American Dream Accounts Act legislation would help students and their families who are low-income save and prepare for college with the creation of personal online accounts, monitoring postsecondary readiness and including a college savings account.
“If we want to ensure that American workers can compete in the global economy, we must ensure that every child has an equal opportunity to access higher education,” said Senator Coons. “The American Dream Accounts Act would bridge the opportunity gap by connecting students, teachers, parents and mentors to create a new generation of higher education achievers through streamlining resources that would allow young people to prepare for, save for, train for and achieve their dreams for their futures.”
Research shows that children in low-income families who have a college savings account in their names are at least three times more likely to attend college and four times more likely to graduate than their peers who lack such savings accounts for postsecondary training and education programs. The Opportunity Nation policy plan, “Our Opportunity Nation,” encourages college savings plans as many low-income families lack the resources to save for the future.
“We are proud to endorse the American Dream Accounts Act sponsored by Senators Coons and Rubio, which provides an evidence based, collaborative solution to ensuring more young people have access to and complete their post-secondary education, which is critical in the 21st century workforce,” said Monique Rizer, Executive Director for Opportunity Nation. “This bipartisan bill exemplifies how our country can come together around common sense solutions to support children, youth and provide skilled talent for employers.”
In addition to hearing Senators Coons and Rubio reintroduce the legislation, audience members and individuals livestreaming the event on Facebook heard from representatives of community colleges who put these savings accounts to use, and Opportunity Nation Coalition members working to ensure we double postsecondary degrees, certificates and industry credentials by 2025, a goal outlined in “Our Opportunity Nation.”
The panelists and speakers at the event were:
- Kim Cook, Executive Director, National College Access Network
- Rob Gordon, President, Be The Change, Inc.
- Shira Markoff, Associate Director, Children’s Savings, Corporation for Enterprise Development
- Michael Montelongo, President and Chief Executive Officer, GRC Advisory Services LLC; Board Member, Be The Change, Inc.
- Dr. Scott Ralls, President, Northern Virginia Community College
- Monique Rizer, Executive Director, Opportunity Nation
- Abigail Seldin, Partner, New Profit
- Jocelyn Stewart, Senior Director for Community Relations, Barclaycard
- Juanita Tolliver, Coalition and Advocacy Manager, Opportunity Nation
A special thanks to our Coalition members that participated in yesterday’s event, especially our panelists. We appreciate your work in support of our collective goals.
The Restoring the American Dream series is intended to bring people together from across the aisle and to spotlight successes in communities across the nation. The first three of the series’ six events, including yesterday’s, give us hope that if we work together across sectors and across the aisle, we will achieve our goals.