California Students Get Relief, 2007-2008 State Budget Passed
The budget released almost $11 million in grants to San Francisco State University (SFSU) students a few days before they started their classes, providing relief to those who depend on Cal Grants for their housing, textbook, and transportation needs.
For the University of California, the final budget allocated $3.27 billion (reflecting a 6.4% increase in funding from the previous year) for the fiscal year that began July 1.
The standoff resulted because 14 Republican state senators disagreed with parts of the budget and refrained from voting for its passage, preventing it from receiving approval by the required two-thirds majority. Finally, on August 21, Minority Leader Dick Ackerman and Senator Abel Maldonado decided to support the $145 billion budget.
During the standoff, the state controller's office accumulated about 60,000 unpaid claims submitted by hospital, school, and childcare programs. State education officials contend that there was a contingency plan in place to provide funding if the budget's approval was delayed further. Campuses with surplus funds were to provide loans to students that would have been repaid with Cal Grants.
As state legislators have missed the June 30 budget-approval deadline 13 times in the last 20 years, this year's delay did not come as a surprise to many.
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IRS Reminds Students of "Tax-Advantaged Education Expenses"
By Surajit Sen Sharma
On September 11th, the IRS news release "Back-to-School Tax Breaks Help Teachers Pay Classroom Costs; Aid Parents, Students With College Tuition" stressed the importance of saving receipts and maintaining expense records to take full advantage of deductions on educational expenses and credits available on federal income tax returns for 2007.
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