Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting

The Uncounted

RELATED

Community response helped reverse COVID’s devastating toll on Indigenous communities in Arizona

When COVID-19 first hit the U.S. in early 2020, urban centers like New York City became a focus of national attention. But as the disease spread throughout the U.S. later that spring, the Navajo Nation emerged as a disease hotspot, with case rates rising higher than anywhere else in the country. Newly compiled data reveals…

EDUCATION SUSPENDED: BLOCKED FROM CLASS FROM MISSING CLASS

Suspending students for absences, tardies compounds learning loss

Suspending students for missing class, whether it’s because they showed up late, cut midday or were absent from school entirely, is a controversial tactic. At least 17 states forbid schools from suspending students for attendance problems at some level—if kids aren’t in class, they aren’t learning. Yet the practice is pervasive in Arizona, a first-of-its-kind AZCIR/Hechinger analysis has found, with students missing tens of thousands of additional school days as a result.


an azcir series about ‘constitutional sheriffs’

Arizona ‘ground zero’ for extremist, anti-government sheriff movement

More than half of Arizona’s county sheriffs are at least partially aligned with a growing movement of so-called “constitutional sheriffs,” with an ideology that threatens to radicalize law enforcement by indoctrinating them with false legal theories about a sheriff’s authority over state and federal government, and a duty to nullify laws they interpret as unconstitutional. A shift toward amplifying misinformation about widespread voter fraud has experts sounding the alarm.

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Health

Pandemic accelerated Arizona’s years-long decline in childhood vaccination rates

The impact of missed preventative medical care during the pandemic is beginning to emerge in the form of drastic declines in childhood vaccination rates among Arizona youth, now at lower levels than at any point in the past decade. The plummeting rates follow a years-long decline in immunizations among Arizona students overall—one that has put residents of all ages at heightened risk of infection from largely preventable communicable diseases.


EDUCATION


A Place That Should Know Better

Arnold v. Sarn, a class action lawsuit that called for services for people with serious mental illness regardless of cost, celebrates its fortieth birthday in 2021. The litigation ended in 2014 with a settlement agreement that largely replaced “shall” with “may,” encouraging the system to try its best while softening requirements, and permanently doing away with a court monitor—the last remnant of robust accountability that had been in place for decades. Now Charles “Chick” Arnold, the lead plaintiff, says the agreement should have been more aggressive. An AZCIR series by Amy Silverman


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…


Coronavirus

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