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Arizona candidates on both sides of the aisle calling for charter school reform

Posted at 7:25 PM, Oct 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-30 22:25:51-04

With the elections, there is a renewed push for accountability and transparency with the hundreds of charter schools in Arizona.

Now many political candidates from both sides of the aisle are embracing this call for reform. This includes Governor Doug Ducey, Democratic candidate for governor David Garcia, and the state's Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

Even though charter schools are a public-private partnership, Jim Hall who founded Arizonans for Charter School Accountability says these schools rely on state funding; thus they should be required to report their finances to the public.

"I was a school principal for 23 years. We counted every penny; we had to keep track of candy bars that were sold at basketball games," Hall said.

Marisol Garcia, the Vice President of the Arizona Education Association, echoed those calls as both a mother and a teacher herself.

"There is very little transparency. That's the scary part we don't know how this money is being spent. We have been screaming from the rooftops for somebody to be a leader and champion the cause of bringing accountability to taxpayers, but nobody's wanted to take that lead."

Republican state senator Kate Brophy McGee hopes to open up the conversation in the state legislature, while Attorney General Mark Brnovich is looking into how charter schools are currently audited.

This is exciting news for Hall who said, this is the first time he is seeing Republican candidates talking about charter school reform.

"As it stands now we've never had a charter bill read in committee. Both committee chairpersons are tied to the charter industry, and we never hear anything about the bills," Hall said.