California Educator

August / September 2017

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Page 65 of 75

I N J U L Y 2 0 1 6 , California's Attorney General's Office announced a $168.5 million settlement with K12 Inc., a for- profit online charter school operator accused of violating California's false claims, false advertising and unfair com- petition laws. e deal came three months after the San Jose Mercury News published a two-part investigation of K12, which received more than $310 million in state funding over the past 12 years operating virtual schools for thou- sands of students. This June, CTA honored Jessica Calefati, author of the investigative stories, with a prestigious John Swett Award for Media Excellence. She was one of 21 winners in the 58th annual CTA awards contest, chosen by an independent panel of media professionals and retired college journalism professors. e awards honored individuals, publications, websites, and television and radio stations for outstanding achievements in reporting and interpreting public educa- tion issues during 2016. "This year's winners clearly care about telling the vital story of public education in California," said CTA Presi- dent Eric Heins at the awards reception at the June State Council meeting in Los Angeles. " With skill, compassion and creativity, these journalists showed the triumphs and struggles that educators celebrate or overcome in their schools across the state. Their outstanding media work deserves this special recognition." e award is named in honor of the founder of CTA, who was California's fourth superintendent of public instruction and a crusader for public education. Links to the award- winning stories are at Telling the Vital Stories Richard Bammer from the Vacaville Reporter won for weekly columns on vital education issues. Mellisa Paul of KXTV ABC 10 (Sacramento) accepts award for " Teacher of the Month" series. The San Francisco Chronicle's Nanette Asimov holds her awards for news and feature stories, with (from left) CTA President Eric Heins, VP Theresa Montaño, NEA President Lily Eskelsen García, CTA's Dixie Johansen and Mona Davidson, and Secretary-Treasurer David Goldberg. CTA honors California education reporting with 21 John Swett Awards Story and photos by Mike Myslinski 64 S W E T T A W A R D S CTA & You

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