Well, the kid sister is back! She returned from a few months of travel in South America in January and has stayed with us ever since. DH was like, “She never told us how long she’d stay and she has been helpful with the kids. Should we just invite her to stay for good?” No matter. She made herself at home and the kids adore her. What can I say? We grew up on top of each other in a multi-generational household. We find comfort in each other’s company, and I am thrilled my kids will grow up with such an involved tia.
These are the types of news stories that Ari loves: archeologists and geologists are certain that they have found the lost city of Atlantis, which legend says was wiped out by a tsunami, off the coast of southern Spain, according to MSNBC.com.
Also on MSNBC.com: Nestlé Prepared Foods Co. announced a recall of Lean Cuisine Simple Favorites Spaghetti with Meatballs after reports that some consumers found red plastic pieces in the meatball portion of the dinner.
Forbes just released the names of the world’s richest women. This is what gets me every year: at No. 1 and No. 3 are billionaire heiresses Christy Walton and Alice Walton whose late husband and father, respectively, founded Wal-Mart. They are worth $26.5 billion (Christy) and $21.2 billion (Alice). Yet, most Wal-Mart employees are uninsured, live below the poverty line, and their children qualify for free school lunches. I just find this disparity so icky. I swear the greed in this country is almost sociopathic.
In related news, four out of ten American millionaires do not feel that $7 million is enough to be considered “rich,” according to a Fidelity Investments survey quoted by Reuters. As one commenter noted, “If $7 million isn’t ‘rich’ anymore then 99% of us are actually poor.” Seriously.
Vouchers are rearing their head again as legislators in Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania have introduced bills for them, according to the Wall Street Journal.
As I have stated here a zillion times before, I don’t doubt that taking the poorest children — according to the WSJ story, those living below the poverty line — and putting them in private schools isn’t beneficial to them. However, I wonder if vouchers would be properly funded and non-discriminatory towards special needs children, who are often the most expensive students to educate. A $7,000 voucher, which WSJ listed as the higher amount, wouldn’t begin to cover a private school education, much less for a child with special needs.
In many urban centers, a secular private school like Sidwell Friends, which is where President Obama sends his daughters, costs around $30,000+ per year. Not only would a $7,000 voucher not cover the tuition for a student with a voucher, but it wouldn’t help a private school retrofit its building for wheelchair ramps or hire additional staff to meet the needs of special education students. This is a big omission on the part of WSJ.
In other education news: I smiled when I saw this picture in the Dallas Morning News as I know that our Lisa in Austin attended this rally against school funding cuts.
Let’s end with some celebrity news, shall we? I was thrilled to learn in Vanity Fair that Robert Pattison and Reese Witherspoon are playing the main characters of one of my favorite novels, Water for Elephants. Come next month, I will be seeing that one in the theater! In other celebrity news: Canadian singer Bryan Adams is expecting his first child at the age of 51, according to the New York Post.
What else is in the news? What’s up with you?