Wyoming Board of Education Begins Work on Science Standards

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Rep. John Patton was one of the most vocal advocates to lift the footnote that ended all financial support of the standards last year.
Rep. John Patton was one of the most vocal advocates to lift the footnote that ended all financial support of the standards last year.

The Wyoming Board of Education has reopened and expanded the task force assigned to review the state's K-12 science standards.

This is the second attempt at reviewing the standards, as the first attempt was halted last year when a budget footnote on the appropriations bill ended all financial support for the state to consider the Next Generation Science Standards. During the recent legislative session, that footnote was officially removed. The K-12 standards were developed by national science education groups and representatives from 26 states and include requirements about the the teaching of evolution and climate change, which has caused controversy not only in the state, but across the country.

During the session, State Representative John Patton, of Sheridan, was very vocal in trying to have the footnote removed. In an interview with Sheridan Media, he said above all, his issue with the policy was that it restricted the conversation on the controversial standards.

Now that the footnote is no more, the board can begin the dialogue with educators, parents and business leaders.The board is now looking to add members to a 36-member task force to begin the process. Although task force members had previously been selected, board members decided they would give the public the opportunity to weigh in by reopening seats on the task force.

(Some information in this story was provided by the Associated Press.)

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