In the news this week:
• The presidential election may be over, but political speculation remains high.
Gov. Phil Bryant was one of Donald J. Trump’s surrogates, making campaign appearances beyond Mississippi. After Trump’s triumph Tuesday, conjecture began that Bryant would join the new administration in Washington.
At a press conference Wednesday, during which various Republican Party officials called for national unity, Bryant said he does not expect to get a call from the president-elect asking him to join him in Washington, D.C., but he didn’t say he would decline if the phone does ring.
• After a national study raised questions about the value of a Mississippi high school diploma, state education officials told Mississippi Today they are working to develop one diploma with students able to earn different endorsements, including options such as career tech, academic, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).
The new standards are expected to be presented to the state board of education in January. If they are approved, the changes would go into effect during the 2017-2018 school year.
• Drought conditions in parts of the state remain intense, even after this week’s rain. According to the Mississippi Forestry Commission, 76 out of 82 counties are still in a burn ban. The conditions affect fall’s usual routines, from camping to harvesting to construction projects.