The LPS Education Foundation has implemented a one-of-a-kind idea to attract families to the district and provide a great service to current residents by offering college planning and financial assistance for each new incoming kindergarten student. The goal is to provide district residents a competitive advantage over other communities by helping families begin college financial planning for their children early-on while providing seed money to begin saving for college.
The Foundation is committed to investing in our children’s futures so they grow to be successful, contributing citizens,” said Diane Policelli, president of the LPS Foundation. “With businesses, the district and the community working together, we can help our children become successful and help our community thrive.”
The Foundation has provided the program now since 2008 for new classes of incoming students and have received a positive response. Policelli cited the example of the successful Kalamazoo Promise program, recently implemented in that city, as a model for Livonia’s Competitive Edge program. Early results of the “Promise” show a variety of benefits for all areas of the community including increased enrollment, improved housing values, new retail development, and a renewed student commitment to completing their education.
While our program is not on the financial level of Kalamazoo’s program, we certainly see the advantages for families to be in our school district with this type of support, along with the many other great things Livonia and Westland have to offer families with children,” Policelli said.
How It Works
- The Foundation will provide an opportunity for the family of each new kindergarten student to set up an IRS Section 529 college savings plan
- The Foundation will hold education savings planning seminars for parents to learn about college savings, along with the tax and other advantages of a Section 529 Savings Plan.
- At these seminars, the Foundation will be prepared to set up a Section 529 savings plan for each student. The Foundation will be the account holder and the student will be the beneficiary.
- The Foundation will provide an initial contribution to a 529 savings account for the kindergarten student.
- Parents are encouraged to start a 529 savings plan and contribute towards it.
- To be eligible to utilize the Foundation’s 529 savings plan, a student must:
- Sign up in kindergarten
- Graduate from Livonia Public Schools
- Attend an eligible post secondary school upon graduation
- (There are no restrictions for accounts set up by families)
- The Competitive Edge will be offered annually for each new kindergarten student.
- The Foundation will use the State of Michigan’s MESP Section 529 Plan. There are over 100,000 current savings accounts with this well established program and parents may be eligible for a state matching contribution. For more information on the state’s program, visit www.MISAVES.com.
Why It’s Offered
- The LPS Education Foundation believes “Every child needs a foundation.” So we are committed to simplifying college savings planning for parents and to help get them started.
- The LPS Education Foundation Board sees a unique opportunity to significantly expand its influence and benefit to the LPS Community.
- This program will help attract families to the community which benefits everyone. Property values, funding for schools and municipalities, and business traffic are all enhanced by new families moving to our community.