Treasurer Fiona Ma Presents “Scholar Dollars” Grants to Orange County Schools
May 30, 2019
Contact: Mark DeSio
ORANGE COUNTY – California State Treasurer Fiona Ma presented a $10,000 “Scholar Dollars” grant today from the ScholarShare 529 program to Mabel L. Pendleton School in Buena Park and a $25,000 grant to Patton Elementary in Garden Grove.
At Mabel L. Pendleton School, the money will be used “to create a collaborative workplace on campus for students to make, learn, and explore by using physical and virtual tools and by sharing ideas,” said Principal Shin Park
Patton Elementary School plans to use the grant to purchase technology for their classrooms and “provide our students with greater access to the digital sphere,” said Principal Jennifer Carter.
Treasurer Ma chairs the ScholarShare Investment Board that sets investment policies and oversees all activities of ScholarShare, the state’s 529 college investment plan. The program enables Californians to save for college by putting money in tax-advantaged investments.
“Creativity should not be lost in the push for higher academic standards,” said Treasurer Ma. ”We are providing a creative outlet for these students.”
“Scholar Dollars” supports extracurricular and enrichment programs that in some cases were cut or dropped altogether because of budget cuts. This year it has awarded more than $300,000 to 20 K-8 schools throughout the state to fund technology, music, art, theater, computer science, sports, and other programs.
The “Scholar Dollars” program helps schools improve the enrichment programs that inspires students, sparks their curiosity, and motivates them to pursue college or other higher education opportunities.
Schools win “Scholar Dollars” grants by mobilizing their communities to cast votes. This year 377 schools competed and more than 285,000 votes were cast. Treasurer Ma commended Mabel L. Pendleton and Patton Elementary School for successfully applying for a “Scholar Dollars” grant.
“I applaud the dedicated students, staff, and parents who came together as a community to capture the votes needed to win this grant,” she said.
Studies show that students with a savings account in their name are seven times more likely to attend college than others. “Scholar Dollars” helps raise awareness about saving for college early, which is important given that the average student loan debt is $36,521. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s College Affordability and Transparency Center there is $1.48 trillion total student loan debt in the United States www.collegecost.ed.gov.
ABOUT SCHOLARSHARE 529
“Scholar Dollars” offers families a diverse set of tools to help pay for higher education, including relief from paying taxes on investment growth, if the funds are spent on qualified higher education costs.
TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. serves as Program Manager. To learn more about the ScholarShare 529 2019 Scholar Dollars Program, visit MyScholarDollars.com.
Fiona Ma is California’s 34th State Treasurer. She was elected on November 6, 2018 with more votes (7,825,587) than any other candidate for treasurer in the state's history. She is the first woman of color and the first woman Certified Public Accountant (CPA) elected to the position. The State Treasurer’s Office was created in the California Constitution in 1849. It provides financing for schools, roads, housing, recycling and waste management, hospitals, public facilities, and other crucial infrastructure projects that better the lives of residents. California is the world’s fifth-largest economy and Treasurer Ma is the state’s primary banker. Her office processes more than $2 trillion in payments within a typical year. She provides transparency and oversight for the government’s investment portfolio and accounts, as well as for the state’s surplus funds. Treasurer Ma oversees an investment portfolio of more than $96.9 billion, approximately $20 billion of which are local government funds. She serves as agent for sale of all State bonds, and is trustee on over $100 billion of outstanding debt.