WASHINGTON, May 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), a devoted and fervent advocate of education and educational opportunities for all children, was joined by his colleague, Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX) today to introduce "The American Dream Accounts Act of 2013." The goal of the legislation, which Senators Coons and Rubio introduced in the Senate earlier this month, is to improve the number of low-income students able to access and complete a college education.
The legislation utilizes the power of the internet to create "Dream accounts" that allow low-income young people to reach for and succeed in higher education.
"The American Dream Accounts Act of 2013" is the latest in the continuum of Fattah's fight to improve the educational opportunities of low-income and under-represented students from early childhood to post graduate school.
Congressman Fattah, widely respected as a leader for college access and affordability for under-served students, is also the primary sponsor of the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which provides a $2,500 tax credit for tuition and other expenses for college students and their families. To date, more than 12.5 million families received AOTC tax credits valued at $14.3 billion.
Fattah's signature educational achievement GEAR UP - Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs - has helped prepare up to 12 million low-income students from sixth to 12th grade for the rigors of higher education.
"Higher education is essential to getting a good job in this economy and achieving the American Dream," said Fattah. "But as the costs of attending college have increased dramatically, some students see that dream as beyond their reach. This legislation will make that dream a reality by providing the information and support our children need to succeed. In this way, the American Dream Accounts Act of 2013 places a college education within reach of every child."
Under the American Dream Accounts Act, low-income students would establish secure Web-based accounts that track their college readiness, contain information about academic preparedness, financial literacy and high-impact mentoring and would be tied to a college savings account. Instead of approaching these threads independently, this bill connects students, parents and teachers across silos, and takes a small but significant step toward helping more under-served students of all income levels access, afford and complete a college education.
The legislation authorizes the Department of Education to award three-year competitive grants to encourage innovative and comprehensive partnerships supporting low-income students in preparation for a college education. The legislation, designed as an incubator for future expansion, authorizes the Department to fund the effort with $3 million from existing funds.
SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah