SANTA ANA, Calif. – With the education funding cut here due to the state’s budget deficit, Orange County Teachers Federal Credit Union has kicked off a $1 million “Step Up for Education” fundraising program. The credit union has challenged Orange County businesses to participate in contributing to the Step Up for Education drive to help local schools, and promised to match contributions dollar-for-dollar up to $500,000. Overall, OCTFCU has committed over $1 million in cash and products to benefit schools and school employees affected by the budget cuts. OCTFCU President/CEO Rudy Hanley launched the program with the presentation of an initial check for $250,000 to Orange County Superintendent of Schools William Habermehl. In addition, OCTFCU has customized programs for local educators who lost their jobs such as interest-free loans for COBRA insurance payments, deferred VISA and loan payments, low interest loans for classroom supplies, computers, and higher education degrees. “The quality of education our children receive is threatened by state budget cuts, and the jobs of thousands of school employees are at risk. We know that $1 million won’t solve the problems our schools face,” said Hanley, “But we must do what we can and be proactive in supporting our schools and educators. It is an all-around challenging time and we are committed to doing what we can to help.”

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