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Charter School Reform Bill Passes In The Arizona Senate

The Arizona Senate passed a charter school reform and oversight bill on Thursday that opponents say lost most of its bite along the way. Though the bill’s sponsor, State Sen. Kate Brophy McGee, fiercely argued otherwise.

"This bill represents a compromise, and simply saying it has no teeth doesn’t mean ... it has no teeth. It absolutely has teeth," she said.

The Arizona Charter Schools Association helped write the legislation, but Brophy McGee defended her process.

She stressed her bill was a bipartisan effort to address ongoing procurement, oversight and accountability issues and is focused on the majority of charter operators. Bills addressing the more egregious cases, what she called “outliers,” will come later down the road, she said.

So what’s in the bill, and who walked away happy or unhappy? Craig Harris, senior investigative reporter for the Arizona Republic and author of several charter school investigations, joined The Show to talk more about it.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.