Special Needs, Troubled Schools
Investigative Reporting: General News Outlets, Print and Online (Small Staff)

About the Entry

These stories lay bare major problems in the operations and oversight of a private special education school where 95 percent of students had been psychiatric hospital patients — effectively a mental institution outside the oversight of the state’s Department of Mental Health.

Entry Credit

  • Koby Levin, Intern, The Eye at NECIR
  • Jenifer McKim, Senior Investigative Reporter, The Eye at NECIR
  • Gary Putka, Executive Editor, The Eye at NECIR

Comments from the Judges

“Series was excellent (though horrifying). The team was clearly committed to detailing the most egregious abuses — of students, and finances — by this school.”

“This is an impressive and decisive takedown of a school that is both abusing its students and its budget. What made it so compelling: the level of detail, and the marriage of financial investigation with stories from students and families.”


EWA is grateful to the College Board for its generous support of the 2018 National Awards for Education Reporting.