Bill gives special treatment to corporate sponsors of charter schools

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Research Director for Grand Canyon Institute, Dave Wells. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News) Research Director for Grand Canyon Institute, Dave Wells. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A controversial bill making its way through the Legislature is sparking claims that it gives education kickbacks to corporations. 

HB 1196, which passed the House Appropriations Committee last week, allows publicly funded charters schools to give special treatment to the kids of corporate donors. 

If passed, kids whose parents work for corporate sponsors would get preference when it comes to enrollment. 

Currently, enrollment is determined by a lottery if the charter school receives more applications than the number of seats available. 

"It's a bad thing because charter schools are public schools and you shouldn't have to be able to pay in, if you pay in to get special treatment that's not a public school that should be a private school," said Dave Wells, who is the research director for the Grand Canyon Institute. 

The bill also allows non-profit groups to partner with charter schools, but opponents of the bill don't expect many charities will participate. 

DeAnna Rowe, the executive director for Basis School Inc., says the idea could potentially open up a new revenue in a state with limited money for education. 

Her organization helped craft the legislation that was sponsored by Rep. David Livingston, a Republican from Peoria. 

According to a recent report from the Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, Basis received $82 million for its 18 campuses across the state. 

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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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