Congress recently passed the American Dream Accounts Act, introduced by Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, and Marco Rubio, R-Florida, that will help to increase the number of low-income and at-risk students able to access and complete technical training and a college education.

This legislation will authorize the Department of Education to award funding to support innovative and comprehensive partnerships that support low-income students in preparation for technical training and college and is included in the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.

“I’m thrilled that my bipartisan American Dream Accounts Act will be enacted into law,” said Coons. “I have worked on this bill with Sen. Rubio for many years. If we want to ensure that American workers can compete in the global economy, we must ensure that every child has an equal opportunity to access technical training and higher education. This legislation will bridge the opportunity gap by streamlining resources that allow young people to prepare for, save for and achieve their educational dreams. I look forward to working with the administration to fully realize the possibilities of American Dream Accounts for students across the country."

The American Dream Accounts Act authorizes the Department of Education to award funding to local partnerships that:

— Create personal online accounts for students that monitor higher education readiness and include an online savings account. These accounts would follow students from school to school and through technical training and/or college. Parents could grant vested stakeholders, including counselors, teachers, coaches and mentors, access to the account to update student information, monitor progress and provide support.

— Support college readiness by securely monitoring students’ progress online. Academic and behavioral information, including grades and course selections, progress reports and attendance and disciplinary records, would be available for review in an online savings account, which would also provide opportunities to learn about financial literacy, prepare for technical training and/or college enrollment and identify skills and career interests.

— Collect data about effective ways to assist high-risk students in planning for technical training and college.