May 18, 2017
Two rural Louisiana charter schools — one predominantly white, the other predominantly black — are under legal scrutiny for their role in promoting resegregation in school districts still under decades-old desegregation orders. Critics say the charter schools are draining district funds and making it impossible to achieve integration, while charter advocates argue that families have been failed by the status quo and deserve access to new opportunities. As the Trump administration considers how to make good on a campaign promise to invest $2 billion in school choice, these two schools offer a glimpse at the complexity of the debate ahead.
May 3, 2017
More working Americans are struggling to make rent than at any time since the Great Depression. In "Poverty, Politics and Profit: The Housing Crisis," a new program airing Tuesday, May 9, nationwide on PBS stations, FRONTLINE and NPR investigate the crisis in affordable housing and why so few are getting the help they need.
Jan. 30, 2017
The lack of transparency and full disclosure of potential conflicts of interest among witnesses testifying before Congress can lead to biased agendas and violations of the Truth in Testimony rule. Some nongovernment witnesses received payments for their research or are affiliated with special-interest groups — which they did not disclose — and some outside observers and lawmakers question whether foreign governments are influencing think tanks and research organizations.
Dec. 27, 2016
Five years after the program was established, more than half of Indiana's voucher recipients have never attended Indiana public schools, meaning that taxpayers are now covering private and religious school tuition for children whose parents had previously footed that bill. Many vouchers also are going to wealthier families, those earning up to $90,000 for a household of four.
The voucher program, one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing, serves more than 32,000 children and provides an early glimpse of what education policy could look like in Donald Trump’s presidency.
Dec. 19, 2016
Police across the country say that they are increasingly facing off against people with ultra-real-looking pellet guns, toy weapons and non-functioning replicas. Such encounters have led police to shoot and kill at least 86 people over the past two years, according to a Washington Post database of fatal police shootings nationwide. So far this year police have fatally shot 43 people wielding the guns. In 2015, police also killed 43.
Oct. 18, 2016
When the Republican-controlled Congress approved a landmark program in 2003 to help seniors buy prescription drugs, it slapped on an unusual restriction: The federal government was barred from negotiating cheaper prices for those medicines. Instead, the job of holding down costs was outsourced to the insurance companies delivering the subsidized new coverage, known as Medicare Part D.
The ban on government price bargaining, justified by supporters on free market grounds, has been derided by critics as a giant gift to the drug industry. Democratic lawmakers began introducing bills to free the government to use its vast purchasing power to negotiate better deals, but all of those measures over the last 13 years have failed.
Aug. 26, 2016
D.C. tenants face eviction as "drug nuisances" even when no one is charged with a crime. During the past three years, city officials sent out about 450 nuisance-abatement letters to landlords and property owners, the vast majority aimed at ousting tenants accused of felony gun or drug crimes, including many bona fide drug dealers. But in doing so the District has also ensnared about three dozen people who were charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession or faced no charges at all, a Washington Post review of the letters has found.
Aug. 20, 2016
With the presidential election less than three months away, millions of Americans will be navigating new requirements for voting — if they can vote at all — as state leaders implement dozens of new restrictions that could make it more difficult to cast a ballot. Since the last presidential election in 2012, politicians in 20 states passed 37 different new voting requirements that they said were needed to prevent voter fraud, a News21 analysis found. More than a third of those changes require voters to show specified government-issued photo IDs at the polls or reduce the number of acceptable IDs required by pre-existing laws. A News21 project.
Aug. 11, 2016
Tennessee Watson takes us on her journey from victim to survivor to reporter, investigating her own story of sexual abuse as a young girl. She documents her decision to report her coach years after the abuse and shows us what happened when a police detective and a prosecutor took on her case.
It’s an intensely personal story, but also one that looks at how the system handles cases like hers, and the consequences for victims of sexual abuse everywhere.
Aug. 9, 2016
While it’s too soon to tell if a true sea change is in the works, here are seven relatively recent shifts in the Cuban mediasphere. Many of them would have seemed inconceivable just a few years ago and bear watching in the future.