OFE in the News
Stay up to date with the work we are doing to provide economic security and mobility for all San Franciscans.
Repayment and Relief Programs for Student Loan Borrowers
This Fall, millions of student borrowers will restart payments of their student loan debt. A flurry of news headlines about student loan relief programs have made it hard to know what actions to take. The San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment invites student loan borrowers to join an upcoming webinar to demystify their options. Expert speaker Betsy Mayotte of The Institute of Student Loan Advisors will provide a primer on repayment plans and relief programs for which you may be eligible.
In 2011, San Francisco opened savings accounts for kindergartners
In 2011, San Francisco made headlines when it became the first city in the nation to kick off a college savings account with $50 for every child entering kindergarten in the public school system.
Why S.F. pays for residents to get free financial coaching
Listen to the San Francisco Chronicle podcast about the Smart Money Coaching program.
Can $50 Really Put A Student On The Road To College?
Forbes recently released an article featuring the Kindergarten to College program and a recent San Francisco Unified School District graduate. The Class of 2023 is the first graduating class that is part of the Kindergarten to College program!
600 Kindergartners Were Given Bank Accounts. Here’s What They Learned. - Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal recently released an article featuring the Kindergarten to College program and two recent San Francisco Unified School District graduates. The Class of 2023 is the first graduating class that is part of the Kindergarten to College program, marking a new milestone in City history!
PPS-SF Attended the Kindergarten to College's (K2C) Celebration
On April 26, the PPS-SF team had the pleasure to attend K2C’s 10-year celebration of their college program. PPS-SF Executive Director Vanessa Marrero and Community Outreach Associate Dorothy Clark attended the event in support of K2C’s dedication for equitable financial access of higher education.
Governor Newsom Highlights Universal College Savings Program at Celebration of $11 Millionth Deposit for Kindergarten to College Program in San Francisco
Governor Gavin Newsom along with California State Treasurer Fiona Ma, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, and San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros were joined by a class of 1st graders from Bryant Elementary School as they deposited the $11 millionth dollar into Kindergarten to College savings accounts, highlighting the success of this program and how the Administration has expanded this concept statewide.
Treasurer Cisneros' press release celebrating K2C reaching $11 million dollars in savings
Kindergarten to College model has been replicated across the country, with 123 active College Savings Account programs reaching more than 1.2 million children in 39 states. California will launch the California Kids Investment and Development Savings (CalKIDS) Program in July, following a $2 billion investment by Governor Newsom.
Newsom highlights universal college savings program
San Francisco’s Kindergarten to College (K2C) program, founded in 2011 by then-San Francisco Mayor Newsom and Treasurer José Cisneros, automatically opens a savings account seeded with $50 in public funds for every child entering kindergarten in San Francisco’s public schools, putting students on a path to college from their first day of school. There are nearly 50,000 K2C participants who, as of today, have $11 million saved for post-secondary education. Last year, Governor Newsom made history by creating the largest statewide college savings account program in the country, providing at least $500 for every eligible low-income student in California.
San Francisco public school kids get $11 million in college savings, more to come for California students
At San Francisco City Hall on Tuesday, 17 first graders from Bryant Elementary School helped deposit the 11 millionth dollar into a college savings fund that will help each and every public school student in the city get a financial head start on higher education costs. The youngsters were joined by Gov. Newsom, San Francisco Mayor Breed, California State Treasurer Fiona Ma and City Treasurer José Cisneros, who explained how the money will help them go to college.
Focus on the Future: Outcomes and Lessons Learned From K2C's "I am the Future" Campaign
In March 2020, K2C launched an equity incentive, called the “I Am the Future” campaign designed to accelerate targeted asset-building for students experiencing the greatest barriers to opportunity. To best reach these students, K2C selected 9 elementary schools from SFUSD’s PITCH initiative, a program aimed at closing the opportunity and achievement gaps for students facing systemic and persistent barriers to equity.
From Pilots to Policy Change: Recommendations from San Francisco’s Guaranteed Income Advisory Group
San Francisco’s Guaranteed Income Advisory Group was created to advise the Board of Supervisors, the Mayor, and appropriate City departments on various aspects of guaranteed income. The recommendations in this report examine how to move guaranteed income from pilots to policy in San Francisco, while maintaining and strengthening the City’s support for pilot development and implementation.
RFP for Kindergarten to College Financial Institution Partner Now Available!
We are currently soliciting for a financial institution partner for the Kindergarten to College program and our request for proposals is now available. All questions must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 13th. Proposals are due on May 18th.
Smart Money Coaching Workforce Webinar
To learn more about how SMC can support your organization, case managers, and clients, check out this webinar.
Smart Money Coaching Housing Webinar
Listen to Smart Money Coaching's webinar on housing here.
Protecting Benefits in Guaranteed Income Pilots: Lessons Learned from the Abundant Birth Project
This brief offers lessons learned about how to protect recipient benefits, particularly in California, through the lens of the Abundant Birth Project (ABP), a pilot program aimed at reducing birth health disparities and improving birth outcomes for Black and Pacific Islander pregnant women in San Francisco by providing $1,000 per month for six months during pregnancy and six months post-partum.
ChexSystems Webinar Recording
Listen to our discussion on the mysterious and often problematic, ChexSystems that leaves so many people vulnerable from achieving financial mobility.
Getting Smart About Financial Coaching
Read five ways to create meaningful and life-changing financial outcomes for the community with this report from Smart Money Coaching. Read more here.
Child Tax Credit
The Child Tax Credit is a tax benefit to help families who are raising children. Payments will come monthly from the IRS totaling up to $300 per child under age 6 and up to $250 per child ages 6 to 17. For more information click here.
Systemic Barriers to Banking the Unbanked
Since founding the Bank On movement in 2006, the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) has found persistent disparities in banking access due to structural flaws in the financial system. This brief outlines four major systemic barriers to banking -- distrust of mainstream financial institutions, ChexSystems records, debt in collections and asset limits -- as well as opportunities to remove these barriers and increase banking access. Read more here.
K2C Virtual Summer Contest
Thank you to everyone who participated in our virtual summer contest. We had an amazing turnout that spanned across all grades in SFUSD schools. We appreciate you seizing this opportunity to tour colleges online and attend First Gen’s workshops!
Blacklisted: How ChexSystems Contributes to Systemic Financial Exclusion
In this report we tackle the unfair, unequal and opaque consumer banking systems that have blacklisted so many low-income consumers, immigrants, and in particular Black consumers from the financial mainstream.
Statement from Treasurer José Cisneros on Governor's $2B statewide College Savings Program
Today Governor Newsom proposed an investment of more than $2 billion in a statewide college savings account modeled after San Francisco’s Kindergarten to College Program (K2C).
City launches task force to explore Universal Basic Income programs
San Francisco on Friday launched a guaranteed income task force that could lead to a pilot program where up to 1,000 residents would receive at least $500 in unrestricted monthly payments. The 11-member Guaranteed Income Advisory Group held its inaugural meeting to begin working on recommendations for how a pilot program should look in San Francisco, with an eye toward a long-lasting effort.
Pre-Existing Conditions: Assessing the Financial Services Response to Racism, Inequality, and COVID-19
A joint report done with the California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC). As COVID-19 continues to ravage the health and economic security of millions of Americans, it is critically important to evaluate the relief efforts offered by financial institutions. And at this time, when our nation is confronted with the reality of its historic and systemic racism, it is crucial that we evaluate such relief efforts with a racial equity lens.
Exciting new leadership at K2C!
Last December, San Francisco’s Kindergarten to College (K2C) program welcomed a new program manager, Mohan Kanungo. Prior to joining K2C, Mohan served as the Director of Community, Innovation, and Impact for the Children’s Council of San Francisco, which advocates for quality education and financial support to empower families and communities.
Saving for College During COVID-19
The experience of the Kindergarten to College (K2C) Children’s Savings Account (CSA) program run by the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) shows that despite economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, families remain committed to saving for college.
Statement from the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment and the San Francisco Financial Justice Project
On this Juneteenth, the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment and the San Francisco
Financial Justice Project stand in solidarity with the Black community and all those who demand
Financial Justice Project stand in solidarity with the Black community and all those who demand
K2C Announces Art and Poetry Contest Winners!
On Friday May 1, Kindergarten to College (also known as K2c) announced the winners of the Spring art and poetry contest for students in San Francisco! The theme for this year's contest was "Changing the world with K2C," inspiring students to think about how planning for college creates opportunities to make a positive impact on the world.
SF Mayor, Treasurer announce new measures to support businesses in response to COVID-19
Mayor London N. Breed and Treasurer José Cisneros on Tuesday, April 21 announced new measures to support San Francisco businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
San Francisco launches coronavirus economic recovery task force
San Francisco has established an economic recovery task force to plan a response to the steep and immediate budget revenue losses caused by Coronavirus, officials said Thursday.
San Francisco To Extend Interest-Free Loans To Small Businesses In Trouble During Pandemic
The city of San Francisco is establishing a $10 million emergency relief fund that will extend interest-free loans of up to $50,000 to small businesses in crisis during the coronavirus shelter-in-place period.
Breed announces additional measures to aid San Francisco's small businesses
San Francisco will defer registration and licensing fees for small businesses to try to help them withstand revenue losses resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, the Mayor’s Office announced Tuesday.
As cost of living soars, SF program to help struggling airport workers pay bills
This spring, Treasurer José Cisneros will launch a, well, pilot program at the airport to test whether providing easily accessible emergency funds to low-paid workers can help both them and their employers.
An Equitable Approach to Debt Collection & Financial Wellbeing
It’s happened to most of us — you get a bill you can’t pay, and you shove it to the bottom of the mail stack. Then the phone calls start. This is stressful enough when you owe the debt, but imagine getting harassed by debt collectors for a bill that isn’t even yours, or was issued by mistake. In San Francisco, we've been busy making sure our families have the best resources possible when it comes to managing their debts.
OFE January 2020 Newsletter
Are you caught up on past OFE news? Take a look at our past OFE January 2020 newsletter to see how we were demonstrating promising and expanding proven innovations, and using our voice for economic justice to help families build and protect wealth.
OFE September 2019 Newsletter
Are you caught up on past OFE news? Take a look at our past OFE September 2019 newsletter to see how we were demonstrating promising and expanding proven innovations, and using our voice for economic justice to help families build and protect wealth.
New Report Traces Dramatic Rise in Student Loan Debt in the Bay Area
Today there are more than 700,000 Bay Area residents with student loans who collectively owe nearly $27 billion, an amount that's more than tripled in the last 15 years ago.
Financial Insecurity is Costing Our Families and City
Rick is a baggage handler at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) who immigrated to San Francisco from the Philippines 9 years ago with his wife and parents. Rick works the graveyard shift and waits hours before public transit starts up again to take him home to his family. Like his work schedule, Rick’s income and expenses are inconsistent and he struggles to get ahead in the most expensive region in the country.
Bay Area student debt levels soar, hitting poor people hardest, study shows
In a grim picture of student-loan debt across the Bay Area, a study released Monday shows that the amount owed has tripled in the past 15 years while the default rate has doubled, hitting low-income communities hardest.
Free Financial Advice at the SF Public Library
Here at KQED Arts, we think a lot about how artists manage their money. Working in notoriously underpaid fields in one of the most expensive regions of the country, artists have to get (even more) creative.
For These States and Cities, Funding College is Money in the Bank
A majority of American college graduates leave school with tens of thousands of dollars in student loans.
Bay Area’s Student Loan Debt Up Nearly 250 Percent
Within the past 15 years, the Bay Area’s total student-loan debt increased 243 percent — a figure that affects Black and Latinx residents the most.