10 months and $800,000 later, the Select Committee on School Finance Recalibration has completed its in-depth look at how Wyoming finances education. Consultants told lawmakers the current school funding model works, but pointed out areas for improvement. And their upgrades came with a cost. But despite that recommendation to spend more, lawmakers are opting to spend less. Wyoming Public Radio’s education reporter Tennessee Watson follows up.
This week, after months of discussion, a legislative committee defeated a number of tax increase measures. The Joint Revenue Committee was hoping to find money to pay for a revenue shortfall that some thought could reach a billion dollars. Then a funny thing happened over the summer…the revenue picture improved just enough that taxes could be avoided. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports that while the outcome isn’t unexpected, the state still lacks enough revenue to pay for its budget.
As lawmakers are discussing whether to add computer science and computational thinking to the state educational curriculum, they are looking to Powell as an example. Powell is one of only five school districts teaching computer science. Wyoming Public Radio’s Kamila Kudelska takes a deeper dive into how their curriculum has developed and persisted through the years.
In the world of Paleontology, there’s debate over whether dinosaurs were warm or cold blooded, and just how quickly they grew up. Dr. Michael D’Emic is a Paleontologist at Adelphi University in New York. He spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Maggie Mullen in anticipation of a talk he will give on the University of Wyoming’s campus about his research.
Ranchers across the west, on average, are nearing the age of retirement. But passing a ranch or farm down the familial line isn’t as easy as simply writing it into a will. Poor planning can mean losing your property entirely… leaving huge tracts of rural land to development or corporate agriculture. Wyoming Public Radio’s Cooper McKim reports what it means for ranchers to prepare their livelihoods for the next generation.
Later this month the Wyoming legislature will be asked to consider a bill that will hopefully stabilize Wyoming’s Air Service. Senate Vice President Michael Von Flatern is the main sponsor and he joins me to explain the concept.
Last October, President Trump took the stage to declare a public health crisis. Seven people an hour, the president said, are currently dying of opioid prescription drug overdoses in the United States. In Wyoming, many say that the problem isn’t so severe here. But as Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards that could be changing.
When you look at the Medicine Bow National Forest in southern Wyoming, you see patches of brown – casualties of bark beetles –bugs that kill trees. Even though it’s been over five years since the epidemic peaked, the forest is still full of these dead trees. The Forest Service has created a proposal to help “clean up” up these areas more efficiently. But as Wyoming Public Radio’s Alanna Elder reports, not everyone agrees on how to do that.
The 2nd season of the University of Wyoming’s Cultural series gets underway next week. Janelle Fletcher is the Director of UW Presents and he she joins Bob Beck.