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New Arizona Charter Schools Association CEO On Reform Efforts, Lack Of Action At Capitol

Charter schools in Arizona have been under the microscope in recent years as investigations have revealed insider deals, high closure rates and owners making millions.

Last year concluded with many Republican leaders — including Gov. Doug Ducey, state Sen. Kate Brophy McGee and Attorney General Mark Brnovich — calling for reform. At that time on The Show, then-Arizona Charter Schools Association President Eileen Sigmund used the words "severe mismanagement" and said they were working with policymakers to address it.

But now charter reform at the state Capitol appears dead. The new president and CEO of the Charter Schools Association — Jake Logan — said that, overall, the state of charter schools in Arizona right now is strong and growing.

"I think that when you look at AZ, charter schools have been around for 25 years, we’ve had 25 years of charter schools," he said. "And I think an objective person would look at that and say our K-12 education system is better because of charter schools than not."

Logan is a former president of the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools, the regulatory agency for charters and he said, in that position, he learned the intricacies of charter school operations, from their finances to academics, and he knows what’s working and what’s not working. And, for him, it’s reasonable to reevaluate regulations after 25 years.

He joined The Show to talk more about it.

Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.