U.S. Education Secretary to Visit San Francisco to Discuss Kindergarten to College Program and Participate in Public Policy Roundtable on Education Reform

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will travel to San Francisco on Friday, June 21 for a discussion on San Francisco's Kindergarten to College program at City Hall and a question and answer session on improving the nation’s education system at the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

Duncan will discuss Kindergarten to College, San Francisco's innovative college savings program and President Obama's plan to expand early learning opportunities to more children with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee and San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros at 1:45 p.m. PT on Friday at the San Francisco City Hall.

The President, in an effort to help all children begin school on a level playing field and to prepare them for later success in school and in life, put forward in his 2014 budget request an historic new investment in early learning that would make preschool available to all 4-year-olds from low-income families; expand evidence-based home-visiting services for vulnerable families and children; and support quality improvements through a new Early Head Start-Child Care partnership.

Kindergarten to College, the first publicly funded universal college savings program for children in the United States, encourages families to begin saving for college as early as a child’s entrance to kindergarten. The program is an ongoing investment in a stronger, healthier city and it serves as a financial education tool throughout each child’s school years. The city and county of San Francisco provide children enrolled in public elementary school with a Citibank account and a $50 deposit to begin saving for college. Since the program began in 2010, 8,000 college savings accounts have been opened.

Later in the evening, Duncan will hold a question and answer session, led by PPIC President Mark Baldassare, at Bechtel Center in San Francisco. Duncan will discuss the importance of early learning programs, the future of higher education access and completion and California districts seeking waivers under No Child Left Behind.