Arizona blogger David Safier reports that an investigative team of reporters at the Arizona Republic has won a prestigious Polk Award, one of the highest honors in American journalism, for its fearless reporting about charter school scandals in the state.

Safier writes:

The Arizona Republic’s thorough, ground-breaking stories about charter school corruption and profiteering have received scarce press coverage in southern Arizona from anyone but your faithful education blogger. That’s a serious omission. Though the stories tend to be based in Phoenix-area charter schools, they speak to statewide problems stemming from the lack of adequate charter regulation and oversight. One of the bad actors discussed in the series, for example, is state representative Eddie Farnsworth, who is making millions by selling his for-profit charters, which run on taxpayer dollars, to a non-profit company. That piece of news is definitely relevant everywhere in Arizona.

Also nearly absent in local reporting (I can’t say it hasn’t been reported, but I haven’t seen it) is the team of reporters who put together the articles that won the prestigious Polk Award in Journalism.

So let me be [among] the first in the southern Arizona news media to congratulate reporters Craig Harris, Anne Ryman, Alden Woods and Justin Price for sharing the honor, as well as the investigative editor Michael Squires.

The reporters received the Polk Education Reporting award, one of 14 Polk awards given in 2018, for:

“disclosing insider deals, no-bid contracts and political chicanery that provided windfall profits for investors in a number of prominent Arizona charter schools, often at the expense of underfunded public schools that educate all but 30,000 of Arizona’s 1.1 million students.”

This is one of those series that demonstrates the power of the press.