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Iowa Treasurer offers free No. 2 pencils for state exam


In a wonderful act of generosity, Iowa State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald is sending out free No. 2 pencils to Iowa educators in preparation for the annual Iowa Assessment Test. The pencils will be distributed through the Prepare for Basics program.

This is not the first time that the Treasurer looked after the best interests of Iowa students and teachers. Last year, Fitzgerald sent out approximately 19,000 pencils for test takers and instructors to use during the exam. 

"Teachers play an important role in the enormous task of monitoring the growth of students through the assessment test," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "The Prepare for the Basics program is a small token of appreciation to our teachers for their hard work."

These special No. 2 pencils will accompany additional material that students will take home after the exam. Packets of information about College Savings Iowa, the state-sponsored 529 plan were sent home with the students. This initiative was designed to help Iowans pay for the increasing costs of higher education. It is also part of a plan to give additional tax benefits to struggling families in Iowa that want to send their children to college. 

"Families who save early will be in a better position to help pay for college when the time comes," Fitzgerald said. "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."