On March 1, Chelsea Wunnicke, Human Development and Relationships Educator Richland County, and Jenny Abel, Financial Security Outreach Program Manager, presented expert testimony on universal savings accounts for all children. Wunnicke and Abel shared research-based context at the public hearing for the 2021 Senate Bill 947. The public hearing was with the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means at the Wisconsin State Capitol.
Wunnicke and Abel were representing Youth Forward Wisconsin, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension Educators from across the state and across four institutes, who have been researching the potential impacts of universal child savings accounts for over two years. Youth Forward Wisconsin has been working with partners like public schools, health systems, businesses, and philanthropies interested in bringing universal child savings accounts to their communities.
Research has shown that children with between $1 and $499 in college savings are three times more likely to attend college, four times more likely to graduate college and do better in high school. Other benefits of universal child saving accounts could include decrease educational disparities, increase workforce readiness, improve family financial wellbeing and attract and retain young families to the benefit of the local economy.
To learn more about Youth Forward Wisconsin, visit https://finances.extension.wisc.edu/topics/youth-forward-wisconsin/. Chelsea Wunnicke and Jenny Abel can be contacted via email at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.