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State expands health care options for its employees
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More vendors will be available for health care coverage of state employees, retirees and dependents, including teachers and school system employees, for the 2015 plan year.

UnitedHealthcare will offer the option of a statewide HMO, a statewide high deductible health plan and a statewide Medicare advantage option. Kaiser Permanente will offer a plan in the metro Atlanta service area.

BlueCross BlueShield of Georgia will remain a vendor and offers three traditional health reimbursement arrangement options, statewide Medicare advantage and statewide HMO.

Scholarships available for early childhood teachers

Additional funding has been announced for Georgia’s early childhood educators.

The funding through the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning will go toward continuing education for early childhood education program administrators and teaching personnel.

The program will award $1,200 to $2,500 to eligible applicants who earn a child development associate credential or technical certificate of credit, a technical college diploma or associate of applied arts or science degree or a completed bachelor’s or master’s degree from a qualifying institution between Jan. 1 of this year and July 1, 2017.

Award amounts are tiered according to type of credential or degree.

Money comes from the federal Early Learning Challenge grant that DECAL was awarded in December.

Eligibility information and applications are available through Care Solutions Inc. at 800-227-3410 or on the’ website,

Workshop available for parents of students

Pay it Forward Scholarships is offering a free workshop, “How to Get More Scholarship Money,” for parents of children enrolled in private pre-kindergarten through grade 12 schools.

The workshop will be held from 7–8 p.m. July 31 in the conference room on the lower level at the North Georgia Community Foundation, 615 Oak St., Gainesville.

There will also be a workshop for administrators at noon that day covering revised scholarship law.

To sign up, contact Laura Haynes at or 770-534-6111 by July 28.

Jennifer Jacob Brown covers education issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her: