Comptroller's ReportDear Readers:
10 Principles for Texas
in the 21st Century
- Develop a better-educated workforce
- Direct more of every education dollar into the classroom
- Raise the bar on student performance
- Cut taxes in Texas
- Introduce competition into Texas government
- Improve government performance and accountability
- Reduce the size of government
- Bring common sense to regulations
- Use technology to cut costs and increase quality
- Return control to communities and individuals
Parents and grandparents like me have enough to worry about. That's why the Texas Tomorrow Fund is such an excellent way for families to put aside enough money for college. The program allows families, friends, loved ones, associations, and corporations to lock in the cost of tomorrow's college tuition and fees at today's prices.
I have great confidence in the future of the Fund. I signed up one granddaughter in the program last year and another granddaughter this year. The Fund makes saving for college easy, economical, and absolutely safe. With the Fund, main street Texans don't have to worry about Wall Street volatility. It's a smart investment and one that brings peace of mind because the Fund is backed by the full faith and credit of the State of Texas. More than 115,000 Texas families have already enrolled in the Texas Tomorrow Fund. On my watch, enrollment is up for the second consecutive year.
Through my Texas War Relief package, I've also begun raising money from corporations, civic groups and others to provide Texas Tomorrow Fund scholarships for Texas children who have a parent in the military, police, fire, or EMS disabled or killed in the war against terrorism.
The Texas Tomorrow Fund is flexible. You can change plans if your children's needs or your financial situation changes. It's also portable. Tuition benefits can be transferred to any out-of-state college or university, or to an accredited Texas proprietary school. Benefits can also be transferred to a sibling, and you can get a refund if the beneficiary chooses not to attend college or receives a scholarship.
We now have a way to make it even easier for Texans to save for college. In 2002, we will launch a new college savings plan that will supplement the Texas Tomorrow Fund, which consists of accounts similar to a 401(k). Accountholders contribute money, which is invested in professionally managed portfolios of stocks and bonds. As long as the funds are used for higher education, the earnings are tax-free. The college savings plan will have a higher contribution limit than a 401(k) or an interest rate account. There will be no income limit on who can contribute to a college savings account.
The current enrollment period for the Texas Tomorrow Fund is from November 5, 2001 to May 24, 2002. Enroll online at http://www.texastomorrowfund.org. This is a safe, affordable way to ensure a bright future for all of our Texas children and grandchildren.
Carole Keeton Rylander