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A Michigan school district just gave teachers a well-deserved bonus👏

They spent more than half of their budget surplus rewarding the hard work of their staff.

A Michigan school district just gave teachers a well-deserved bonus👏

As parents, we know there are few people on the planet who are as important as teachers. Yet we're still watching educators around the country having to go on strike to get decent pay, limits on class sizes, and other basic necessities.

That's why our hearts are warmed to learn a bit of good news in the realm of teacher compensation. East Lansing Public Schools in Michigan recently found a surplus in their budget and voted to spend more than half of it on staff bonuses.

"It's been extremely rewarding for me to give a token of appreciation to our staff," district superintendent Dori Leyko said in an email to the Lansing State Journal. "They work so hard for our students and families, and I can't think of a better investment than one in our people."

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After a year-end audit of the 2018-2019 budget, officials found a $687,000 budget surplus. The school board voted to give the 341 employees who work at least 20 hours a week a $,1000 bonus after taxes, while 36 employees who work fewer than 20 hours a week got $500, the Journal reported. The average teacher salaries in the district range from $54,460-$69,770, depending on grade levels, according to Teacher.org.

East Lansing Education Association President Tim Akers told the Journal that as far as he is aware, teachers in the district have never received bonuses. He also said that the teachers union was unhappy about pay freezes they endured in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years. But Board of Education President Erin Graham told the paper that the district is on "better financial footing" now.

This is great news for the children of East Lansing, but so much more needs to be done for teachers and students everywhere. According to the National Education Association, when inflation is taken into account, the average teacher's salary has actually decreased by 3% over the past decade. The Learning Policy Institute found that almost 20% of teachers leave the profession entirely due to low pay. That turnover means our kids are not benefitting from having experienced educators in their classrooms. The teachers that do stick around often have to work second jobs just to make ends meet.

But this teacher bonus is a step in the right direction. Keep this all in mind when you start planning holiday gifts for your kids' teachers this year. That will spread the cheer!

Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

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I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

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International Network for Aid, Relief and Assistance (INARA)

It's 2020. The world is changing. It's hard to believe but the old decade is over, the new one is here and it is bringing a lot of new life with it. The babies born this year are members of Generation Alpha and the world is waiting for them.

We're only a few months into the new year and there are already some new celebrity arrivals making headlines while making their new parents proud.

If your little one arrived (or is due to arrive) in 2020, they've got plenty of high profile company.

Here are all the celebrity babies born in 2020 (so far):

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