This week on New Mexico in Focus, George Fischbeck, legendary pioneer in educational television, sits down for a conversation about his life in weather. Dr. George, as he is affectionately called, was in town to be honored with a plaque on Albuquerque’s new Wall of Fame. The former Duke City teacher and retired Los Angeles weatherman started his television career at KNME-TV, as a host of a children’s science program.

New Mexico in Focus airs Friday nights at 7 p.m. on channel 5.1 and appears online at  shortly thereafter. The show rebroadcasts Saturday at 5 p.m. on channel 9.1. and again on Sunday at 7 a.m. on channel 5.1.

The Line opinion panel looks at the latest developments around an audit of state spending by behavioral health providers. Fifteen of those providers were accused by the Human Services Department of mismanaging state and federal dollars and now eight are suing the state.

Depending on the study, New Mexico comes in at number 25 or 37 on spending per pupil. Yet, the state was also recently ranked dead last for child well-being overall. Hannah Skandera, Public Education Secretary-designate, said the contrast between these two measures proves that education funding needs accountability to be successful.  Stephanie Ly, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said more spending is needed to make up lost ground wrought by New Mexico’s high poverty rate and all the associated challenges that brings for students.

The panel also discusses the state’s economy. A national ranking of state governors put Susana Martinez among the worst for job creation. Is it fair to pin New Mexico’s continuing economic woes on the top executive? As the state continues to struggle to emerge from recession, what are the plans to boost job growth?

• George Fischbeck, author, “Dr. George: My Life in Weather”

Line Guest
• H. Diane Snyder, former New Mexico State Senator

Line Panelists
• Rob Nikolewski, Capitol Report New Mexico
• Laura Sanchez, CEO, New Mexico Green Chamber
• John Wertheim, former NM Democratic Party chairman

• Gene Grant

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New Mexico in Focus is produced by Megan Kamerick. Funding has been provided in part by the McCune Foundation.

Media Contact: Evy Todd (505) 277- 1218, email: