Free Funds for College Savings

CalKIDS Town Hall FlyerDear community member,

It is never too early to start saving for your children’s college education or career training — and thanks to a new state program, it has never been easier. 

We know how much of a difference college savings can make. Research shows that children with even a small amount of college savings are three times more likely to attend college, and four times more likely to graduate.

Next week, we’re co-hosting a town hall with State Treasurer Fiona Ma to share information about this new state program, the California Kids Investment and Development Savings Program (CalKIDS). This free, virtual event is 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 6, and you can register at

CalKIDS enables all newborns to receive up to $100 in seed savings, while low income students can receive up to $1500. Those funds can then be grown with contributions from students and family members in a tax-advantaged 529 college savings account. They can then be withdrawn to pay for college or career training. 

Next week’s town hall also features Santa Cruz Community Ventures Executive Director Maria Cadenas to share information about Semillitas, a forward-thinking program that creates and funds a college savings account for all children born in Santa Cruz County after December, 2020. Semillitas now stacks seamlessly with CalKIDS to provide even more seed funding for your children’s education. We are very fortunate that our children can take advantage of both of these opportunities.

In the field of education, we are increasingly broadening our lens to look at how we can set students on the path to success before they even enter the classroom. These accounts are part of a holistic approach to maximize opportunities for children and encourage them to consider college as part of their learning and career journey.

Please share the flyer (embedded here, and available in English and Spanish) widely with families in Santa Cruz County who may be interested. The event will be recorded, and live Spanish translation will be available.

I want to thank Treasurer Ma and her office for helping us inform families about these opportunities, and I hope you’ll join us Tuesday to learn more about how to take advantage.

Yours in education and equity,
Dr. Faris Sabbah
County Superintendent of Schools