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Ga. Lottery posts educational transfers totaling $15B

Ga. Lottery posts educational transfers totaling $15B

ATLANTA – As the Georgia Lottery Corp. celebrates its 20th anniversary, lottery officials today announced record proceeds to education for the first half of fiscal year 2014. The Georgia Lottery’s first-half transfers to the Lottery for Education Account will bring the total raised for educational programs in the state to $15 billion since the lottery’s inception in 1993.

Georgia Lottery returns to education for the first half of fiscal year 2014 totaled $462.1 million, more than $11.6 million ahead of the same period last year.

“More dollars will go to fund educational programs in Georgia than ever before as a result of our strong start to the fiscal year,” said Georgia Lottery President and CEO Debbie D. Alford. “We are proud of our accomplishments and remain committed to maximizing revenues to benefit Georgia’s students.”

The first half of the fiscal year spanned from July 1, 2013, to December 31, 2013.

Path2College launches savings sweepstakes

Path2College launches savings sweepstakes

(WXIA) -- Path2College, Georgia's 529 savings plan, has kicked off this year's $25,000 Reasons to Save Sweepstakes.

The promotion is designed to get parents thinking about saving for college while their children are still young.

Through the sweepstakes, one lucky child will be awarded $15,000 for his or her college education. The winner's school will receive $10,000.

"All you have to do is go online and enter for a chance to win," Path2College exeuctive director Mitch Seabaugh said. "There's nothing to lose by entering, and both a child and his or her school have a lot to gain."

To enter, visit path2college529.com. The sweepstakes is open to current Path2College 529 Plan account owners or non-account owners who live in Georgia and are at least 21 years old.

The contest closes on Sunday, Aug. 10.

Scholarships available to high school and college students

Scholarships available to high school and college students

(WXIA) -- The Constitutional Officers Association of Georgia is offering three scholarships to Georgia's college students and high school seniors.

To qualify for the COAG Scholarship, a student must be a high school senior or GED candidate and a Georgia citizen, and should be scheduled to graduate in the spring of 2014.

Current students at accredited Georgia colleges and universities are also welcome to apply. The scholarship is available to students majoring in government or law enforcement; political science; accounting or finance; business; or pre-law.

COAG is offering scholarships in three amounts -- $500, $1,000 and $1,500. Applicants must write a 1,000-word essay that answers the question "Who are the locally elected constitutional officers and what differentiates them from other county offices?"

Pebblebrook HS magnet program holding auditions

Pebblebrook HS magnet program holding auditions

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- The Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts is looking for talented middle school students to join the magnet program.

Representatives from the program, which is located at Pebblebrook High School, will travel to middle schools across Cobb County to audition potential new students.

To be considered, a student must prepare a one- or two-minute monologue, ballet dance or song, depending on the intended area of study -- theatre, dance or voice, respectively. Students who want to be accepted in the technical theatre program must be ready to explain their interest and background in the discipline.

CCCEPA has already held auditions at several Cobb County middle schools, including Dickerson, Durham, Garrett, Lost Mountain and McCleskey.

Remaining audition dates and times include:

Awtrey MS
Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 1 p.m.

Barber MS
Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 9:30 a.m.

Aaron's supports Cobb mentoring program

Aaron's supports Cobb mentoring program

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- Aaron's Lease-to-Own has raised $15,000 for the Cobb County School District's Mentoring Matters program.

Cobb Mentoring Matters allows local residents, business owners and civic groups to mentor and donate money to students in need.

"I believe it is our responsibility to positively impact the lives of all individuals we encounter," Brett Ruffino, vice president of Aaron's in Marietta, said in a statement. "It is especially important to the youth that are willingly and enthusiastically lining up saying that they need and want mentorship."

Ruffino added that Aaron's is committed to making a positive impact on the community and the lives of its customers.

Aaron's employees participate in Cobb Mentoring Matters, but wanted to make an additional contribution -- hence, the $15,000 donation.

(CCSD CobbCast)

Ga. high school graduation rate increases in 2013

Ga. high school graduation rate increases in 2013

(WXIA) -- The public school graduation rate in Georgia continues to climb.

The Georgia Department of Education announced Wednesday that the state's graduation rate was 71.5 percent in 2013 -- almost two points higher than in 2012 and four points above 2011's rate.

Every state uses a U.S. Department of Education-mandated four-year adjusted cohort rate to calculate graduations. It tracks the number of students who graduate from high school within the standard four years.

State superintendent Dr. John Barge said the more rigorous calculation method still shows an increase in Georgia's graduation rate.

"Despite the economic challenges our districts are facing, we have more high school students graduating today than we have had in several years, which is a testament to the hard work of our students and teachers," Barge said in a statement.

Cobb County's 2013 four-year graduation rate was 76.5 percent.

GED registration begins on new website

GED registration begins on new website

(WXIA) -- Registration for the 2014 General Educational Development tests is now open on the new MyGED website.

The site, located at ged.com, offers study plans, skills assessments and other resources to help adults receive the equivalent of a high school diploma.

The 2014 GED program launches on Jan. 2. It was overhauled to better prepare GED candidates for higher education and the working world, and ultimately allow them to find jobs with higher pay.

The website also features a list of GED testing centers across metro Atlanta.