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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
September 6, 2022

Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and School Principals:

State College Savings Accounts for Low-Income Students: Eligible Public School Students Can Receive up to $1,500

We are pleased to announce the launch of the California Kids Investment and Development Savings Program (CalKIDS), a statewide initiative that provides eligible low-income public school students with a college savings account funded with a minimum of $500. The State of California created CalKIDS with the goal of helping families take the first step toward saving for college or career training. To ensure all eligible families are aware of this important program, we are seeking your help with sharing information with families in your district and on your campus.

Administered by the ScholarShare Investment Board, an agency of the State of California that is chaired by the State Treasurer, CalKIDS automatically provides eligible low-income public school students in grades one through twelve, as designated by the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), with the tools to start saving for college, including an initial deposit in a college savings account.

$500: Every eligible low-income public school student in grades 1–12 will have a CalKIDS account created in their name with a deposit of $500. Plus $500: Eligible students identified as foster youth will receive an additional one-time $500 deposit. Plus $500: Eligible students identified as homeless will receive an additional one-time $500 deposit. That’s up to $1,500 in free money for college!*

*Student Eligibility: California public school students identified as low-income by LCFF on Fall Academic Census Day who were enrolled in first through twelfth grades during the 2021–22 academic year and all incoming low-income LCFF public school first graders in the 2022–23 academic year, as identified on Fall Academic Census Day, will automatically be enrolled in CalKIDS.

Research shows that children with $500 or less saved for college are three times more likely to enroll and four times more likely to graduate than children without college savings accounts (please see the University of Michigan Center on Assets, Education and Inclusion Publications web page at https://bit.ly/3JGxcrV). That is why it’s important we work together to remove some of the financial barriers that often stand in the way of a postsecondary education for California families.

To access their CalKIDS account, eligible low-income students or their parents will need to register on the online CalKIDS portal at https://calkids.org/, which requires key information, including the child’s Statewide Student Identifier (SSID) or a unique code included in a notification letter that the family has (or will) receive by mail soon.

To facilitate this important access, we request that your school district and individual campuses make SSIDs available to parents and students who request them.

If you are interested in helping increase awareness about this important program or would like additional details, please visit the CalKIDS School Toolkit web page at
School Toolkit | CalKIDS where you can access an online marketing toolkit specifically designed for school administrators that contains materials such as letters, flyers, content for e-newsletters and emails, and sample social media posts, or you can contact CalKIDS staff directly at CalKidsAdmin@calkids.org or 916-651-6380.

For more information about the program, eligible CalKIDS participants and their parents can visit the CalKIDS website at https://calkids.org/ or contact a representative at
888-445-2377.

Thank you for your assistance with this important matter. We look forward to collaborating with you to ensure that all eligible families are made aware of this exciting new program.

Sincerely,

Tony Thurmond
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Fiona Ma, C.P.A.
California State Treasurer

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, September 07, 2022

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