PED says it will adopt Next Gen Science Standards
After weathering a storm of public opinion and claiming many of those offering criticism of proposed new science standards were political opportunists, the state's Public Education Department quietly announced it planned to scrap three dozen changes to the Next Generation Science Standards and add just a handful of New Mexico-specific standards. The department has had a recommendation to adopt the standards from a hand-picked panel of science experts for more than four years. The official changes have not been publicly released.
Former superstar charter school head admits stealing millions
Scott Glasrud, who was long the poster boy for the state's charter school efforts, pleaded guilty to creating shell companies that stole millions of public dollars from the Southwest family of charter schools. Glasrud will go to federal prison as part of the plea. In court, prosecutors showed Glasrud wrote three $80,000 checks in the five months ending in March of this year to the Golden Nugget casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Closer to home
Gov. Susana Martinez dedicated the second of four state veterans cemeteries yesterday. The latest, in Gallup, is part of an effort to give military veterans a final resting place closer to their home. The first state cemetery in Fort Stanton is scheduled to open later this year. Two others are planned in Angel Fire and Carlsbad.
Council delays Meow Wolf liquor license
The Santa Fe City Council says it wants to hear more about Meow Wolf's plans to offer full bar service at its interactive art exhibit. The arts collective asked the city to allow transfer of a license from Hobbs that would allow liquor to be served as well as beer and wine. It would also allow Meow Wolf to provide patio service. Councilors will take up the issue again in November.
Medicaid costs jump beyond projected budget
New Mexico is expected to have just $25 million more to spend on next year's Medicaid budget than it did this year. That number is dwarfed by an anticipated $50 million increase in Medicaid costs—and it could jump to more than $80 million if Congress doesn't reauthorize funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program. State lawmakers are in the thick of interim committee work that will chart the state's progress forward through the Scylla and Charybdis of limited state money and more demands for service.
They walk among us
Gov. Martinez gave an interview to a Texas TV station, arguing that voters were misled last November, when more that 600,000 of them overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment aimed at bail reform in New Mexico. The state Constitution guarantees bail for those accused but not convicted of a crime, but the amendment allows for pretrial detention for serious offenders. Martinez says courts have interpreted the release provision too broadly and that "we have people that are out from jail that have committed murders."
Council feels SFUAD crunch
The Santa Fe University of Art and Design will close its doors and end its lease of city-owned land next June. The city, which still owes tens of millions of dollars on the purchase, has yet to decide what's next. Last night, the City Council approved a resolution that reiterated the city's commitment to the property it owns, but it didn't make any decisions on how to use it in the future.
Children’s museum statues found buried
Police have arrested a man for stealing four bronze statutes from the Santa Fe Children's Museum. Officers say three people stole the statues in the dead of an August night … and then apparently sat on the booty for two months, unsure how to profit from their ill-gotten gain. Police found two buried in the backyard of a nearby home and one in the home's pantry.
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