Alabama Gets an "F" grade from Prosperity Now
AABC is the lead state agency for Prosperity Now’s “Assets and Opportunity Network. “ Prosperity Now recently published its “2012 Asset Score Card” where Alabama received a grade of “F.”
The report provides a breakdown by Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Housing & Homeownership, Health Care and Education. Prosperity Now recommends Alabama consider: Increasing and protecting Incomes and Savings by adopting state tax credits so working families might have more income left over to save; fund our newly created state Individual Development Account program to have more opportunities to purchase homes, capitalize small businesses and/or fund college educations. They also recommend capping interest rates on payday and auto-title loans to protect families from predatory lending products.
In addition, Prosperity Now believes that there is much work to be done on the side of education. “Alabama should increase math and reading proficiency as well as high school graduation rates, which are among the lowest in the country, and should increase funding for K-12 education, particularly in high-poverty school districts, and create strong systems for teacher evaluation and retention.” At the post-secondary educational level, “boost the number of people with two- and four-year college degrees, through an incentive matched college saving program into 529 accounts.