Member Benefits: Scholarships and Grants

Education Planningcsea_scholarship_diploma

CSEA would like to help you and your family in as many ways as possible in achieving your educational goals. In addition to offering scholarships and grants to help offset some of the costs, below is a list of resources to assist you and your family, including information on completing the GED, Adult Education, professional certification programs, on-line degrees, and various guides to California colleges and universities.

Savings and tax breaks for education

Section 529 Plans
Among the most popular education accounts are the Section 529 college savings plans, which take their name from Section 529 of the U.S. tax code. It allows parents, grandparents other relatives, and friends to open an account and invest in a variety of stock and fixed-income accounts on behalf of a beneficiary. Savings grow tax free, and contributions and any earnings used to pay for qualified higher education expenses are federal and California income tax-free.  Each state has its own plan. For California, check out ScholarShare, California’s 529 College Savings Plan. California state residency is not required. However, investors residing outside of California should consider their own state’s plan first as it may have tax advantages that are only available through that state’s plan.

Overview of education tax benefits
When paying tuition and other related expenses, you be eligible for certain tax benefits associated with education-related expenses.

Tax credits
There are currently two tax credits available to help you offset the costs of higher education by reducing the amount of your income tax: the Hope credit and the lifetime learning credit.

Tax Deductions — lower your taxable income with these breaks:

  • Tuition and Fees Deduction — for a student for whom no education credit is claimed. Qualifying expenses must not have been paid with any other tax-free benefit. A maximum deduction of $4,000 if  taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income does not exceed $80,000  ($160,000 on a joint return).
  • Deduction for work-related education — claim costs of education required to keep your job or to maintain or improve skills needed in your  present work, but not if the education is needed to meet the minimum requirements of your position or is part of a program to qualify you for a new trade or business.
  • Student loan interest deduction — maximum deduction of  $2,500 for interest paid on qualified student loans available if your modified adjusted gross income is less than $75,000 ($150,000 if filed a  joint return).

Employer-paid courses are tax-free 
If you receive educational assistance benefits from your employer under an educational assistance program, you can exclude up to $5,250 of those benefits each year.

CSEA Scholarship Services

CSEA’s Scholarship Program provides CSEA members and their families with a wide range of educational assistance. Since the early 1960’s, CSEA’s Scholarship Program has awarded more than a million dollars to union members and their dependents that want to begin or continue their secondary education.

Member Career Grants
CSEA offers grants to members who are going to school on a part time or full time basis. $1000 grants are awarded to recipients based on financial need, goals and objectives, citizenship, and CSEA activities.

CSEA Member Grants are accepted June 2—October 31. (Applications available June 2)

Dependent Scholarships
$1,000 scholarships are awarded to CSEA member dependents (including spouses) based on academic achievement, character, leadership and extra curricular activities within the community. Financial need may also be taken into consideration on some. There are graduating high school senior, community college and college or vocational school scholarships.

CSEA Dependent Scholarships will be accepted until March 1.

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Apologies: Service Snafu

The redistribution of the Thanksgiving Day, “Best Wishes…” notification; came from our service provider. As you saw, it was not an actual reposting. They apologize to us, the customer, but have not been forth coming with a reason. Thank you for your patience.

Repost: Interview Committee Training

CSEA_LOGOsmWould you like to participate CSEA_LOGOsm
on Job Interview Panels?


Come learn more. Must be a chapter member of CSEA 293.

When: Tuesday, February 4, 2014
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Where: Professional Development Academy ( ESC )

4999 Casa Loma
in the city of Yorba Linda

Please RSVP to:

Chris Lawyer
( 714 ) 615-0896

Dinner provided for those that RSVP

New Legislation Takes Effect

CSEA-sponsored legislation and other key laws it helped pass with the assistance of allies in the labor community last year took effect Jan. 1.

Addressing needs of classified employees

CSEA was able to pass its sponsored legislation, SB 590, to ensure that school districts and community colleges consider the needs of classified employees when allocating funds for professional development, as well as other legislation that has broader impact.

Minimum wage raised

The state’s minimum wage increased for the first time in six years, thanks to the efforts of the labor community. AB 10, which was signed into law by the governor in September, raises the minimum wage to $9 an hour this year with another minimum wage increase to $10 set for 2016. California’s minimum wage is now the highest in the country.

Expanded scope of paid family leave

Another piece of legislation regarding workers’ rights that takes effect this year relates to paid family leave. Previous law granted workers up to six weeks of family leave under the state’s temporary disability insurance program to take care of a seriously ill child, parent, domestic partner, or to bond with a minor within one year of birth or adoption. The new law expands the scope of the program to include care for a seriously ill grandparent, grandchild, sibling or parent in-law.

What’s next

The work isn’t done yet as CSEA continues to secure the rights and improve the working conditions of classified school employees this year. One bill carried over to this year from last year’s legislative session is SCA 2, which would lower the vote threshold for approval of local parcel taxes from two-thirds to 55 percent. This legislation is important to education because it would make it easier for school districts to pass bond measures to raise funds for upgrades and improvements among other things.

Attention Custodians & Plant Coordinators


CSEA_LOGOsmThere will be CSEA_LOGOsm
an important union meeting for you!



A survey will be provided at the meeting
You must attend to have your voice heard!

Date: Friday, January 24, 2014

Time: 10:30am – 12:30pm

Place: Professional Development Academy

(formerly the ESC)

4999 Casa Loma Ave.

Yorba Linda, CA 92886


Date: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Time: 5:15pm – 7:00pm

Place: Bus Driver’s Lounge

(behind the bus parking lot)

At the District Education Center

1301 E. Orangethorpe Ave.

Placentia, CA 92870

 If you have an questions call:

Mara Otero, CSEA Labor Rep at 714-532-7129.


Condolences from Chapter 293

From Association President Michael Bilbrey:

I’m deeply saddened to inform you of the passing of Life Member Carol Jones. She passed away on Tuesday, January 7.

Carol was a member of CSEA since 1977. It didn’t take her long to get involved at both the chapter and state levels. At the state level, Carol served as a member on countless standing and special committees, a regional representative, ARR, RPRO, and on the Board of Directors she served as State Secretary and later as the Area H Director. She served as a personnel commissioner for Los Alamitos, where she continued to raise awareness of classified employees.

She was a strong supporter of CSEA, its members and staff, and was eager to share her views on the path CSEA should follow to benefit the members to the greatest degree. She was a frequent speaker at the microphones at Conference, educating and advocating on behalf of her brothers and sisters.

Carol was awarded Life Membership in CSEA in 2008. When receiving her award at Conference, she said, “My husband Jim for 25 years was the wind beneath my wings, and he kept me soaring high to do all the things that I wanted to do with this beloved organization that I love so much.” “Everything I say to you comes straight from the heart. I love this union. I got involved in it because I cared about people who weren’t given their proper respect, their proper due.”

Services will be held .Tuesday, January 14, at 2:00 p.m, in the city of Cypress, at Church of Our Fathers, 4471 Lincoln Ave, Cypress 90630.

Please send condolences to her sons  Michael Cox and Roger Ek, 5072 Myra Avenue, Cypress, CA  90630. They will share with the rest of the family.

Carol was a driving force in CSEA and she will truly be missed.