State Treasurer of Iowa

Treasurer Fitzgerald Helps Teachers Prepare Students for the Iowa Assessment Test

November 29, 2012

DES MOINES, IA –State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald is extending a helping hand to teachers across the state for the Iowa Assessment Test by providing students with a new number two pencil to use on their test day. The treasurer’s program, Prepare for the Basics, is a no-cost program being offered to elementary teachers. Last year the program distributed over 18,500 pencils to schools statewide. “Testing helps teachers monitor the growth of students’ basic skills,” Fitzgerald said. “This program is a small gesture of appreciation to our teachers for their hard work.”
Along with the new pencil, students will receive information to take home about College Savings Iowa. College Savings Iowa is a state-sponsored 529 plan designed to help Iowa families meet the continually increasing costs of higher education while providing them with multiple tax benefits, including a $2,975 deduction per account from their 2012 state taxable income.* “Families who begin saving early are better prepared to meet the future educational needs of their children,” Fitzgerald stated. “Saving ahead of time may reduce the need to borrow for college, which can help families—and their children—get to graduation with less debt.”  
Teachers who would like to take part in the Prepare for the Basics program are encouraged to go to the treasurer’s website at They can register by clicking on For Citizens, then clicking on the Financial Literacy tab, which will take you to the Prepare for the Basics section. To ensure timely arrival, materials should be requested at least two weeks prior to testing. The materials will be delivered directly to the participating schools. Supplies are limited, so early registration is advised. For more information about this program, or College Savings Iowa, please visit or call 1-888-672-9116. 
*Adjusted annually for inflation. If withdrawals are not qualified, the deductions must be added back to Iowa taxable income.

Investment returns are not guaranteed and you could lose money by investing in the plan. Participants assume all investment risks as well as responsibility for any federal and state tax consequences. If you are not an Iowa taxpayer, consider before investing whether your or the designated beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state’s qualified tuition program. 

For more information about the College Savings Iowa 529 Plan, call 888-672-9116 or visit to obtain a Program Description. Investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information are included in the Program Description; read and consider it carefully before investing.

College Savings Iowa is an Iowa trust sponsored by the Iowa State Treasurer’s Office. The Treasurer of the State of Iowa sponsors and is responsible for overseeing the administration of the College Savings Iowa 529 Plan. The Vanguard Group, Inc., serves as Investment Manager and Vanguard Marketing Corporation, an affiliate of The Vanguard Group, Inc., assists the Treasurer with marketing and distributing the Plan. Upromise Investment Advisors, LLC, provides records administration services. The Plan’s portfolios, although they invest in Vanguard mutual funds, are not mutual funds.


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