Arizona’s charter industry is riddled with fraud and corrruption, meticulously documented by a year-long investigation in the Arizona Republic and by Curtis Cardine of the Grand Canyon Institute.

The Republican-dominated felt that it needed to pass a “Reform” bill, even though it was full of loopholes that would protect charter fraudsters and grifters.

And so it did. The fake reform bill passed on a party line vote, supported by Republicans, opposed by every Democrat. 

So meaningless was the bill that it won the vote of charter operator Sen. Eddie Farnsworth, who made $13.9 million last year when he converted his for-profit charter chain to a nonprofit. Farnsworth gave a speech about why no reform was necessary.

The bill now goes to the House, where Republicans hold a 31-29 advantage.

Republicans rejected amendments from Democrats “to crack down on conflicts of interest and to provide tighter financial transparency on how charters spend tax dollars.

“Sen. Kate Brophy McGee, R-Phoenix, pushed the bill. It had overwhelming support from Arizona’s $1 billion charter school industry, whose lobbyist helped co-write the bill.“