BASIS schools have been called “America’s best,” and “most challenging” by Newsweek and The Washington Post. What they sell — a highly rigorous public education — is undoubtedly alluring to parents who are dissatisfied with public schools.
The network had its start in Tucson as a single charter school. Arizona Daily Star reporter Yoohyun Jung spent months investigating how BASIS went from a small Tucson school to an international network of charter and private schools.
Part I: Public schools, private rules
The story of BASIS as a school network is, ostensibly, one of success. However, its rapid growth from a small charter school in Tucson to an international conglomerate happened mostly behind closed doors, despite it being fueled largely by public funds and status as public schools.
Tune in to Arizona Spotlight next week for Part II: 'Best Schools,' For Some.
Yoohyun Jung produced this story as a Reveal Investigative Fellow. The fellowship, supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Democracy Fund, provides journalists of color support and training to create investigative reporting projects in partnership with their news outlets.