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Is foundations’ funding LA Times education reporting a conflict?

LA School Report | October 30, 2015

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Washington Post logoBy Paul Farhi

The Los Angeles Times announced what seemed like good news for its readers in August: a new reporting initiative that would expand the paper’s coverage of local education.

“Our goal is to provide an ongoing, wide-ranging report card on K-12 education in Los Angeles, California and the nation,” wrote then-Publisher Austin Beutner. He noted that the project, called “Education Matters,” would be funded by a series of charitable organizations.

Except the newspaper left out a key detail: Some of the foundations funding “Education Matters” are among the most prominent advocates of public-education reform in Los Angeles. One of them is the principal backer of a proposal to convert nearly half of Los Angeles’s public schools into charter schools.

In other words, the Times’ new education-reporting project is being funded by some of the very organizations the new education-reporting project is likely to be covering.


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