MOST DISTRICTS DROP: The good news is that overall public school student enrollment in Iowa grew for the second consecutive year for the 2013-14 session. It’s up 2,676 over the previous year. But the more significant news in the latest numbers is not so good: 53 percent of all school districts saw enrollment drops this year and 63 percent are down from five years ago.
TO BURY OR DISPOSE: If you are a farmer in Iowa, you can bury dead livestock on your property. If you are a pet cemetery owner, well, horses are a no-no because the law states that horses are “solid waste” and must be disposed of in a landfill to prevent potential groundwater contamination. Even members of the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission who rejected an appeal by a Tipton pet cemetery owner for burying pet horses agreed that the state’s laws are vague on disposal of pets.
IN THE DARK: Since 1970, Iowa has averaged nearly one hazardous materials spill or leak every three days, most in the largest cities. Shouldn’t state officials know in advance about shipments of such materials coming through Iowa? They don’t. No tracking system is in place.
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