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Az Dep't of Education releases school grades after pushing reporter from office

After refusing to release school letter grade records distributed to Arizona public schools and claiming that no list of all scores existed, the Department of Education has reversed course and released the records to media outlets who sought them.... Read more»3

Az Dep't of Education forcibly removes reporter asking to inspect records

The Arizona Department of Education physically pushed an AZCIR reporter out of its Capitol Mall offices Thursday in response to a request to inspect the latest school letter grade records. The agency’s security guard told AZCIR’s reporter he was trespassing and pushed him out of the public building.... Read more»

McSally strips BP freedom of information loophole from border bill

Rep. Martha McSally pulled a provision that would have allowed CBP to evade FOIA laws from a border bill moving through Congress on Wednesday, after TucsonSentinel.com broke the news about the measure the previous day. No one has yet offered an explanation for the exemption being included in the bill in the first place.... Read more»1

From the editor

McSally bill may exempt Border Patrol from freedom of information laws

A hearing Wednesday may — inadvertently or on purpose — move forward a law, backed by Rep. McSally, that would exempt Customs and Border Protection from FOIA almost entirely, allowing the agency to keep records about its border enforcement activities under wraps. ... Read more»2

Familiar faces - and controversial outsider - as TUSD releases list of sup't finalists

Among the finalists to be the next TUSD sup't are three familiar faces and one outsider: Donna Hargens, ousted from her Kentucky district, which is being audited over mismanagement allegations. The sweeping review could lead to a complete takeover of the district by the state.... Read more»3

Gowan backs down on de-facto press ban

The speaker of the Arizona House bowed to widespread pressure and announced Tuesday morning that he is rescinding a background check policy that targeted reporters, keeping media critics from working on the floor of the legislative chamber.... Read more»

Guest opinion

Barr: 'No one fooled' by Gowan's retaliation against reporter

The attorney for the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona, Dan Barr, blasted Gowan's move to kick reporters off the chamber floor in a letter to the state House speaker, saying, "no one is fooled by what is going on here."... Read more»

Cap Times: Az legislators stonewall on releasing text messages

Arizona lawmakers are improperly redacting, delaying and denying the release of text messages they've used to conduct legislative business, in violation of state public records laws, the Arizona Capitol Times reported after a four-month investigation.... Read more»

Bill would let governments deny ‘unduly burdensome’ records requests

Saying local governments are wasting resources responding to public records requests filed by a handful of individuals intent on harassment, a state lawmaker wants to give agencies the power to deny such requests.... Read more»2

Ducey reopens calendar, assault on open meetings slows

Open government advocates found hope late last week after the governor reopened his daily calendar for public inspection and the legislature began discussions to change the language of a bill that allows most state business to be conducted behind closed doors. ... Read more»

TUSD ordered to release names of sup't finalists

A judge has ordered Tucson Unified School District to release the names and resumés of three finalists for superintendent. The district announced that new leader H.T. Sanchez was the sole finalist for the post in June, but had also short-listed three others, whose identities were kept confidential.... Read more»2

Bill to remove principals’ evaluations from public review draws fire

Advocates for government transparency are objecting to language in an education bill that would prevent the public from reviewing school principals' performance appraisals.... Read more»