Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting

The Latest

Dolores Tropiano, left, and her son Dante Butzberger stand outside their home in Scottsdale, Arizona on June 3, 2021. (Photo by Alberto Mariani for AZCIR)

“504 plan” disability protection favors students at Arizona’s wealthier, whiter schools

Shortcomings at the federal, state and school level make securing a 504 plan easier for students with disabilities who attend Arizona schools that are wealthier and whiter. The disparity gives an advantage to families that can spend time and money advocating on their children’s behalf, while potentially limiting equal access to education for low-income students of color.


Coronavirus

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Elections

State, county policies impact rejected ballot rates in November election

Election officials didn’t count 27,327 ballots cast by Arizona voters in the November election, rejecting more than twice the 10,457 votes that flipped the state for President-elect Joe Biden in what was the closest raw vote margin of any state in the nation. The uncounted votes, which are legally rejected by officials for reasons such as a missing signature, don’t indicate fraud or election irregularities.


Health

Sick and Alone

Most of America’s county jails escape lawsuits seeking reforms for inmates with serious mental illness. Now Arizona’s Cochise County has joined hundreds of other small counties innovating ways to keep people with serious mental illness out of their jails. But it comes too late for Adrian Perez, who has spent the past 13 years cycling in and out of jail, and solitary confinement, which only makes him sicker.

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Law enforcement

Environment

Despite 2016 law, Salt River horses remain unmanaged

Despite 2016 law, Salt River horses remain unmanaged, are not part of the natural ecosystem of the Salt River or even the American Southwest, but an invasive species, that, according to wildlife experts and scientists, is causing catastrophic harm to the Salt River’s natural ecosystem.