Sponsored by
Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting

Arizona Center for Investigative ReportingRSS

Emails reveal close ties between construction firms, top school officials

Emails obtained by AZCIR from four school districts show the depth of the relationships construction company executives have cultivated with school district administrators: trips to Mexico and French Polynesia, golf outings and visits to restaurants.... Read more»

 1 2 3 >  Last »

Deconstructed

Az upends school procurement laws in effort to cool cozy relationships with builders

Included in the new $10.4 billion Arizona budget are massive changes to how public schools will be allowed to hire builders for large construction projects, as well as harsh new penalties for malfeasance that occurs during the selection process. But charter schools are exempted.... Read more»

GOP Legislature sending $7.5M to UA, ASU 'freedom schools' despite millions yet unspent

In the face of teacher walkouts that have forced the closure of hundreds of public schools and displaced more than 800,000 students in a fight over funding for K-12 education, Arizona lawmakers are speeding toward passage of a budget that will provide $7.5 million to two state universities for so-called "freedom schools" designed to teach conservative values.... Read more»

Analysis

No link between teacher pay, district admin costs

Despite conservative "messaging" about the likely walkouts over Arizona's having among the worst teacher pay in the country, an analysis of spending data showed no correlation between per-district administration costs and how much teachers are paid.... Read more»

Glendale candidate claims support of dead voters in attempt to get public campaign funding

In early March, Phoenix-area Democratic legislative candidate Larry Herrera filed 255 signatures to qualify for public campaign funding. Among them was a form signed on Feb. 3, 2018, by Bernadine Barbara Misiak. Except Misiak died in November 2016.... Read more»

As teachers rally for higher pay, Az’s tax code exempts $13.5B from collection

If lawmakers and Gov. Ducey were inclined to find money for teachers, one place they could go looking is in the taxes that the state doesn't collect: Arizona allowed more than $13.5 billion in taxes to go uncollected in fiscal year 2017, thanks to a litany of exemptions, deductions, allowances, exclusions or credits. ... Read more»

Arizona poised for hefty 2018 election spending

There were no statewide or legislative elections in 2017, but the year marked the most prolific campaign fundraising year since the state began keeping the records in an electronic database, setting up the 2018 election for massive political spending.... Read more»

Ducey campaign double reports $1.1 million in contributions

Campaign finance reports summarizing the money raised and spent by Arizona political committees during 2017 show more than $1 million in contributions that have been double reported because of how money raised by Gov. Doug Ducey’s joint fundraising committee has been documented.... Read more»

AG asks court to halt Scottsdale school construction over procurement violations

The Arizona Attorney General's office filed a civil injunction Thursday against Scottsdale Unified School District seeking to prevent further construction on Hohokam and Cheyenne elementary schools, following multiple investigations into possible procurement and conflict of interest violations that have roiled the district's administration. ... Read more»

Pregnant & addicted

Az’s opioid epidemic grew twice as fast among pregnant mothers & newborns

At the urging of Gov. Doug Ducey, Arizona lawmakers approved sweeping new regulations of drugs designed to curb the state’s sprawling opioid epidemic, which has seen overdose deaths nearly double in the past decade. ... Read more»

Passage prevented: How Trump’s border wall will harm Arizona wildlife

President Trump wants to stop illegal immigration with a "big beautiful" wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but experts agree it would harm the ecology of one of the most biodiverse regions of North America.... Read more»

Arizona court: Private cell phones can contain public records

The Arizona Court of Appeals has ruled that a public employee's private cell phone records can be considered public records if the employee used the cell phone for a public purpose. ... Read more»

Az Board of Education disclosed student names, birthdays, test scores

The Arizona State Board of Education violated federal student privacy law by disclosing the names of more than a thousand Arizona students, in some cases along with their birthdays, and their scores on the AzMERIT exams in response to a public records request.... Read more»

Arizona wrongly distributed $62M in federal aid for poor students

The Arizona Department of Education was alerted in March 2015 that it was improperly distributing federal funds intended to help low-income students, but didn’t undertake serious efforts to identify and fix the problem until early 2017.... Read more»

Az schools cite incorrect data, repairs, threats in letter-grade appeals

Seventy-three schools are appealing the letter grades they’ve been given by Arizona school officials, citing a variety of reasons why their ratings should be improved. Amphi's CDO and Helen Keeling appealed, as did Sonoran Science Academy.... Read more»

Law enforcement predicts asset seizures won’t be curbed by reforms

Despite being hailed as a landmark series of reforms by proponents, law enforcement officials from around the state say changes enacted this year to Arizona’s civil asset forfeiture program won’t do much to curb the ability of police to seize cash and property from those they suspect of breaking the law.... Read more»1

 1 2 3 >  Last »