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Treasurer Fitzgerald Reminds Teachers to Register for Free Pencils PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Rick Martin   
Thursday, 13 January 2011 15:16

DES MOINES, IA (01/13/2011)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald wants every second and third grade teacher in the state to take advantage of the free pencils being offered through Prepare for the Basics. This no-cost program, which provides pencils for students to use during the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, supplied almost 13,500 students with pencils during the 2008-09 school year. "Any teacher interested in participating in the program has until April 1st to submit their requests," stated Fitzgerald. "I really hope all teachers take advantage of this program. It is a small gesture of appreciation for all that they do."

The Prepare for the Basics program also provides information to families about College Savings Iowa, the state's 529 plan that is designed to give them an affordable way to save money for college. "Families who begin saving early are better prepared to meet the educational needs of their children. Any little bit that can be saved now will offset what has to be borrowed in the future," stated Fitzgerald.

College Savings Iowa lets anyone – parents, grandparents, friends and relatives – invest for college on behalf of a child. Iowa taxpayers can deduct up to $2,865 in contributions per beneficiary account from their adjusted gross income in 2011.* Investors do not need to be a state resident and can withdraw their investment tax-free to pay for qualified higher education expenses including tuition, books, supplies and room and board at any eligible college, university, community college or accredited technical training school in the United States or abroad.** For more information about College Savings Iowa, go to www.collegesavingsiowa.com or call 1-888-672-9116.

Teachers who would like to take part in the Prepare for the Basics program can register online by visiting www.treasurer.state.ia.us and clicking on the financial literacy tab. Materials should be requested at least two weeks prior to testing to ensure timely arrival and will be delivered directly to the participating schools. Supplies are limited, so early registration is advised.

*Adjusted annually for inflation. If withdrawals are not qualified, the deductions must be added back to Iowa taxable income.

** Earnings on non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax on the earnings, as well as state income taxes. The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements.

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