Our informal survey of what's on those back-to-school shopping lists, and how much it costs to fill kids' backpacks.
Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol have gone through "a rigorous course of treatment and thorough testing," Emory University Hospital's Dr. Bruce Ribner says.
As iPads and other technologies make their way into more classrooms, unforeseen consequences are also on the rise. There's the need for more IT workers. There's the need for bigger security budgets. And now, there's this: The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education over a policy that lets some kids take their school-issued tablets home, while others cannot.
Students who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program can bring the iPads home. The district website indicates other students may do so if they pay a fee.
“Students whose parents choose not to or can't buy this expensive device — they don't get to take it home,” says Laura Rotolo, staff counsel with the ACLU of Massachusetts. “They are at a distinct disadvantage in relation to the other students.”
Rotolo says the iPads must be provided to all kids for free if they're a core part of the curriculum.
The school district’s superintendent, Joseph P. Maruszczak, could not be reached for comment.
“I do think it is something that school districts, state legislatures and school boards need to consider in the future because there is an equity issue,” says Scott Himelstein, director of the Mobile Technology Learning Center at the University of San Diego.
Himelstein believes technology can ultimately give more equal access to education. But he says there will be growing pains — and more legal questions — along the way. Even when schools give all kids devices, he says, issues may arise if students lack equal access to broadband at home to complete homework assignments.
“Case law is slowly evolving in this, these things are being tested nationwide,” Himelstein says.
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has asked the Mendon-Upton school district for a report on its iPad policies. It's due by the end of the month.
The Ebola outbreak claiming lives in West Africa is also hurting the economies of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia and the harm is micro and macro in scope.
It starts small. But it quickly adds up: the World Bank Group has pledged as much as $200 million in aid.
“Shop vendors, stalls that are the basis of the economy for ordinary people in these countries, are affected by curfews, night-time closings,” says J. Peter Pham, who directs the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council.
Add in border closings and flight cancellations. Tourism halts. Contractors with the mining company ArcelorMittal declared force majeure — an act of God — and left Liberia, though other operations continued.
Manufacturing has slowed, says Charles Laurie, head of the Africa practice for the global risk consultancy Maplecroft. He says workers are reluctant to “participate in jobs where large numbers of people are collecting at any one given time.”
An initial World Bank-IMF projection said Guinea could lose a full percentage point of GDP growth. Laurie says the region’s poverty means it’s heavily reliant on international aid organizations to shore up health infrastructure.
Governments are also selling bonds. Sierra Leone recently auctioned about $20 million in T-bills to help fund its Ebola fight.
“These countries are extremely poor,” Laurie says, “so borrowing money is not much of a long term solution.”
Short-term solution as it is, he expects more borrowing to follow.