public schools + corporate subsidies // a local DC investigation // No Labels conflicts

The year is ending but not quite yet for freelance journalism!

This week I have three stories to share:

  • One is a short piece in The American Prospect about how, for the first time ever, communities can track how much money their school districts are losing due to corporate tax subsidies. At least $1.8 billion was given away by state and local governments over the last fiscal year to attract businesses—money that otherwise would have gone directly to public schools. Believe it or not, such disclosures simply weren’t available until this past year. I wrote about why that is, and implications of this new transparency.

  • I also reported a piece in The Intercept co-authored with my editor Ryan Grim on conflicts-of-interests for the centrist political organization, No Labels. The husband of No Labels’s CEO founded a private-equity firm that has ties to many firms No Labels contracts with for business. We obtained emails showing the group directing political campaign work specifically to these companies.

  • And lastly, I’ve been running around the past two weeks chasing a story for Washington City Paper about this program based in an unmarked house in Southeast D.C. where some charter schools have been sending students with disabilities. Nobody seems to know who exactly works there, what their credentials are, what they do with students all day, and how much money they’re getting. “I spent ten years as a special educator, and two years as a special education coordinator at a charter school, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” one advocate told me.

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