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Bill would repeal ban on considering Next Generation Science Standards in Wyoming

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CASPER, Wyoming — A Sheridan lawmaker said he will propose legislation that would allow the Wyoming State Board of Education to adopt science standards that were barred by lawmakers earlier this year.

Republican Rep. John Patton said he wants to eliminate a budget footnote that prohibited the board from spending money to review or adopt the Next Generation Science Standards.

Critics of the standards say they promote the assertion by some that humans are the main cause of global warming through the use of fossil fuels. Wyoming's economy is dominated by fossil fuels extraction.

But some scientists, parents and educators were upset that the budget footnote politicized education and that students' science education would suffer.

Patton told the Casper Star-Tribune (http://bit.ly/1zmnn9a ) that his proposal would allow the State Board of Education to "continue with its work uninterrupted by the Legislature."

Personally, Patton said he doesn't know how much humans have contributed to global climate change.

"How much of a polluter are we? How much of a contribution (are people) making? Those are questions that I don't have an answer to," he said. "I want the standards so we could study and learn to see if we can find out and learn what contribution we are making and what contribution we can make to diminish the pollutant if it is in fact significant."

Patton said the bill has been drafted and will be released on the Wyoming Legislature's website perhaps by the end of the week.

The Legislature convenes Jan. 13.


Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com

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