Fitz-O-Meter

Offer college scholarships to county residents


"FitzGerald will work with the broad stakeholders in education to design and phase-in a program using all available resources to provide higher education scholarships to county residents."


Sources:

Ed FitzGerald, "The Cuyahoga Commitment to Education" campaign policy statement

Subjects: Education

Updates:

Cuyahoga County Council approves college savings program

Updated: Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 | By Karen Farkas

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald has long advocated education throughout a child"s life – from early childhood to obtaining a college degree.


As a candidate for county executive he proposed funding a program to offer college scholarships to county residents.

 

The county charter, approved by voters, mandates that the County Council establish a post-secondary scholarship program.


Last November, FitzGerald said that rather than provide a scholarship fund, he wanted to create an incentive for children to attend college. He proposed a College Savings Account Program – a $100 college-savings account for every new kindergarten student who lives in the county.  


Council members spent several months revising the proposal and approved the measure on Tuesday. The new program begins this fall.


Each year the county will place about $1.5 million a year in a master account at one or more financial institutions. A sub-account, showing a $100 credit, will be established for each of the 15,000 children entering kindergarten at public, private and parochial schools. Families can opt out of the program if they choose.


It is expected that family members and others will contribute to each account. Teachers and the financial institutions will offer financial literacy information so students can see how their fund will grow and help them pay for college.


Council will continue to evaluate the program. A 12-member committee — including educators, bankers, civic leaders and parents — will oversee the program and provide fundraising support.


While some council members said the account would have no impact until the student graduated, FitzGerald disagreed.


"The impact starts right away,” he said Tuesday. "They are getting on a college track and virtually every single public school superintendent in ready to get in the program. They want to teach children the power of savings.”


So, although the proposal has been revised, on the Fitz-O-Meter, the dial can now move from In the Works to Promise Kept

Sources:

The Plain Dealer via Cleveland.com, "College Savings Program will begin this fall for Cuyahoga County children entering kindergarten,” April 4, 2013


The Plain Dealer via Cleveland.com, "Cuyahoga County Council questions proposed college savings plan,” Feb. 7, 2013  

 

The Plain Dealer via Cleveland.com, "Cuyahoga County wants to set up college savings account for all kindergartners,” Nov. 30, 2012

Cuyahoga County budget proposal for 2012 includes scholarship money

Updated: Friday, October 14th, 2011 | By Robert Higgs, Laura Johnston

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald has long argued there"s a  link between education and economic development.

Education was a key plank in his candidate policy proposals. He championed programs like early childhood education and higher education.

"It is impossible to talk honestly about economic development without addressing its foundations in human development,” he said in Cuyahoga County Commitment to Education.

Among his promises: Offer college scholarships to county residents.

In his State of the County Address in April, FitzGerald outlined a way to make $16 million a year available for several programs, including the scholarship program. He proposed diverting 10 percent of county sales tax revenue to generate the money.

On Oct. 11, 2011, he unveiled a balanced two-year budget plan that made room for the scholarship program and other development plans.     For 2012, FitzGerald has set aside $6 million for scholarships.

While FitzGerald has outlined funding for the plan, we cannot yet rate this Promise Kept. Details for the awarding of scholarships still have to be worked out. And before that happens, the budget still must work its way through the Cuyahoga County Council, which ultimately will administer the scholarship program..

Under the county charter, the County Council has the responsibility to pass an annual budget. It will begin holding hearings Oct. 17, 2011, and conclude Dec. 6. The new two-year budget takes effect Jan. 1, 2012.

Still, working it into the budget shows FitzGerald has made progress on the plan. On this promise we"ll set the Fitz-O-Meter at In the Works.
 

Sources:


Ed FitzGerald, "The Cuyahoga Commitment to Education" campaign policy statement
   
Cuyahoga County Office of Early Childhood, Universal pre-kindergarten
   
Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, 2011 State of the County Address, April 6, 2011
       
The Plain Dealer, "Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald to announce $100 million for economic development,” April 6, 2011
       
The Plain Dealer, "Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald announces plans for a tax-supported scholarship program,” April 7, 2011

The Plain Dealer, "Cuyahoga County presents a balanced budget,” Oct. 11, 2011

Sales tax revenues to provide seed money for college scholarship program

Updated: Monday, June 20th, 2011 | By Robert Higgs

County Executive Ed FitzGerald says that raising the education level among workers will play in important role in driving economic growth in Cuyahoga County.

During his campaign he championed programs like early childhood education and higher education. Among his promises: Offer college scholarships to county residents.

"Occupations that require a college degree are growing twice as fast as other occupations,” he noted in a policy statement he posted online.

In his State of the County Address, FitzGerald outlined a way to make $16 million a year available for several programs, including a scholarship program. He proposed diverting 10 percent of county sales tax revenue to generate the money.
   
About $7 million in sales taxes would go toward education and to solicit matching donations from businesses and foundations. The money would be split to fulfill a charter mandate to establish a college scholarship fund for county residents and to expand the county's Universal Pre-Kindergarten program.

In addition to the scholarship program, the money would help boost early childhood education, send sheriff"s patrols assist local police in hot spot crime areas and jump-start a $100 million economic development fund.

The initiatives would also mean cuts to existing county programs and layoffs for hundreds of county employees.
   
"We will not reduce the chronic unemployment of this region by adding to a public payroll but by ensuring that more residents earn a living wage on a private payroll,” he said in his address.
   
The scholarship program isn"t a reality yet. But FitzGerald has outlined a plan for how to fund it.

Based on on his announcement, we move the Fitz-O- Meter for this promise to In the Works.

Sources:

Ed FitzGerald, "The Cuyahoga Commitment to Education" campaign policy statement

Cuyahoga County Office of Early Childhood, Universal pre-kindergarten

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, 2011 State of the County Address, April 6, 2011
   
The Plain Dealer, "Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald to announce $100 million for economic development,” April 6, 2011
   
The Plain Dealer, "Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald announces plans for a tax-supported scholarship program,” April 7, 2011

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