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These Researchers Study the Legacy of the Segregation Academies They Grew Up Around

Three young academics in Alabama are examining these mostly white private schools through the lenses of economics, education and history to better understand the persistent division of schools in the South.

Reporting From the South

ProPublica’s seven-person reporting unit, based in Atlanta, covers North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. The region plays a pivotal role in national issues including political representation, racial equity and environmental justice.

North Carolina Supreme Court Secretly Squashed Discipline of Two GOP Judges Who Admitted to Violating Judicial Code

The decisions came despite the Judicial Standards Commission’s recommendations to publicly reprimand the judges, and these are likely the only times in more than a decade in which the court didn’t follow the commission’s guidance.

How an Alabama Town Staved Off School Resegregation

In the 1970s, Black students organized protests and a boycott that cost local white businesses money. Today, many families who could afford private school still choose Thomasville’s public schools.

How Residents in a Rural Alabama County Are Confronting the Lasting Harm of Segregation Academies

In Wilcox County, Alabama, many people say they want to bridge racial divides created by their segregated schools. But they must face a long and painful history.

Local Reporting Network Partners

ProPublica is supporting local and regional newsrooms as they work on important investigative projects affecting their communities. Some of our past and present partners in the region:

MLK50: Justice Through Journalism
Memphis, Tennessee
Mountain State Spotlight
West Virginia
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
Tupelo, Mississippi
Sun Herald
Biloxi, Mississippi
AL.com
Birmingham, Alabama
The Palm Beach Post
Palm Beach, Florida
Miami Herald
Miami, Florida
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Richmond, Virginia

Conservatives Go to War — Against Each Other — Over School Vouchers

School choice advocates are intent on expanding the availability of vouchers to fund private education at the expense of public schools, but rural residents of these targeted states are putting up some of the strongest resistance.

Former Foster Youth Are Eligible for Federal Housing Aid. Georgia Isn’t Helping Them Get It.

A 5-year-old program to help young people aging out of foster care offers millions of dollars in rent support. Some states have tapped hundreds of vouchers. Georgia has received just eight.

This Mississippi Hospital Transfers Some Patients to Jail to Await Mental Health Treatment

Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto doesn’t have a psychiatric unit, so it sends patients elsewhere for mental health treatment. When publicly funded facilities are full, some patients go to jail to wait for help. One doctor said that’s “unthinkable.”

Segregation Academies Still Operate Across the South. One Town Grapples With Its Divided Schools.

Seventy years after Brown v. Board, Black and white residents, in Camden, Alabama, say they would like to see their children schooled together. But after so long apart, they aren’t sure how to make it happen.

Mississippi Lawmakers Move to Limit the Jail Detentions of People Awaiting Mental Health Treatment

Supporters say the measure is a step forward in curbing the number of people jailed during civil commitment. But some local officials say the impact will be limited unless the state makes other changes, including adding psychiatric beds.

Georgia Promised to Fix How Voter Challenges Are Handled. A New Law Could Make the Problem Worse.

SB 189, which goes into effect in July, will give Georgia residents more time to contest the eligibility of fellow citizens’ inclusion on voter rolls and make it easier to use questionable evidence in those challenges.

Transgender Care Coverage Policies in North Carolina and West Virginia Are Discriminatory, Court Rules

The states violated federal law by banning coverage of certain treatments for transgender people but allowing it for others, according to a decision that could influence courts around the country.

The Louisiana Town Where a Traffic Stop Can Lead to One Charge After Another

Gretna, Louisiana, brings in more money through fines and fees than some larger cities in the state. Much of that revenue comes from motorists who rack up multiple traffic violations.

Despite Outcry Over Seclusion at Juvenile Detention Centers, Tennessee Lawmakers Fail to Pass Oversight Bill

The legislation, sponsored by two prominent Republicans, had backing from the Department of Children’s Services and would have cost the state nothing. Child welfare advocates are baffled as to why it failed.

Atlanta Movie Studio Executive Apologizes After Sending Racist, Antisemitic Texts

Ryan Millsap’s apology for his messages, which were revealed by a ProPublica and Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation, comes as influential government and entertainment officials said they were disappointed by his derogatory rhetoric.

The Family Photographs That Helped Us Investigate How a University Displaced a Black Community

A longtime resident of the Shoe Lane area in Virginia chronicled the life of his community as it was demolished by Christopher Newport University. His photographs helped a reporter seek accountability.

An Atlanta Movie Exec Praised for His Diversity Efforts Sent Racist, Antisemitic Texts

Ryan Millsap has built important relationships with Black leaders and Jewish colleagues. But his private communications exhibit derogatory views toward those communities.

Tennessee Is Ramping Up Penalties for Student Threats. Research Shows That’s Not the Best Way to Keep Schools Safe.

Zero-tolerance measures can counteract what some experts consider a crucial tool for protecting students and the larger community.

The EPA Has Done Nearly Everything It Can to Clean Up This Town. It Hasn’t Worked.

Despite years of air monitoring, inspections and millions in penalties for petrochemical plants, the air in Calvert City, Kentucky, remains polluted. The EPA’s inability to fix it is an indictment of the laws governing clean air, experts say.

The Flooding Will Come “No Matter What”

The complex, contradictory and heartbreaking process of American climate migration is underway.

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    In Private Speech, J.D. Vance Said the “Devil Is Real” and Praised Alex Jones as a Truth-Teller

    Vance gave the speech to the secretive Teneo Network. The GOP vice presidential nominee has been a member of the Leonard Leo-backed group, which seeks to cultivate conservative influence in business and culture.

    School Vouchers Were Supposed to Save Taxpayer Money. Instead They Blew a Massive Hole in Arizona’s Budget.

    Arizona, the model for voucher programs across the country, has spent so much money paying private schoolers’ tuition that it’s now facing hundreds of millions in budget cuts to critical state programs and projects.

    A Closer Look

    Trump Built a National Debt So Big That It’ll Weigh Down the Economy for Years

    The “King of Debt” promised to reduce the national debt — then his tax cuts made it surge. Add in the pandemic, and he oversaw the third-biggest deficit increase of any president.

    Inside Ziklag, the Secret Organization of Wealthy Christians Trying to Sway the Election and Change the Country

    The little-known charity is backed by famous conservative donors, including the families behind Hobby Lobby and Uline. It’s spending millions to make a big political push for this election — but it may be violating the law.

    The Biden Administration Says Its Trade Policy Puts People Over Corporations. Documents on Baby Formula Show Otherwise.

    U.S. officials have challenged baby formula regulations in more than half a dozen countries, sometimes after manufacturers complained. Critics say the efforts are undermining public health.