Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "low income" ...

  • Education Grant Debacle Fixed: Teachers to Get Millions Back After NPR Investigation

    NPR’s Chris Arnold and Cory Turner started digging into a Department of Education grant program after spotting a brief mention in a broader lawsuit. What they uncovered was shocking: a program gone horribly wrong for thousands of public school teachers. "It's ridiculous; it's mind-boggling. It's been two years of torture," was how teacher Kaitlyn McCollum of Columbia, Tenn described it. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The program has a noble goal - to encourage aspiring young teachers like McCollum to work in the nation’s most disadvantaged communities. They agree to teach a high-need subject, like math, for four years in a public school serving low income families. In return, they get grants to pay for their own education. But the reporters found that’s not how it worked out at all. Thousands of teachers had their grants unfairly converted to loans due to a paperwork debacle at the U.S. Department of Education - leaving some bearing the burden of more than $20,000 in debt. Cory and Chris’ work not only exposed the program’s brutal inflexibility and it’s devastating impact on the lives of teachers; their seven stories, reported over the previous ten months, convinced the Department to offer teachers a dramatic fix. As a result of their reporting, the Education Department is now reaching out to thousands of teachers to return millions of dollars of grant money that was unfairly taken away from them.
  • One Year Later: CNNMoney Investigates Ferguson

    After a scathing report from the Department of Justice finding rampant policing for profit in Ferguson, the city touted changes to the police department and court system, while lawmakers heralded a new state law aimed at limiting the use of court fines as revenue generators. But we didn’t want to take the city’s word for it, and in an exclusive analysis eventually discovered that even after the DOJ report, the city continued to issue thousands of warrants over the same kinds of minor offenses the DOJ had highlighted. We also found that the problem goes far beyond Ferguson. Policing for profit has raged on in Ferguson’s neighboring towns -- keeping many of the area’s low-income residents stuck in a cycle of court debt and jail stints. Like a pastor who was jailed countless times for minor traffic tickets, a 27-year-old who has spent more than a decade trying to pay off tickets she got as a teenager, or a young mom who was arrested over not having a residency sticker on her car.
  • Down and Out at Inglewood Unified

    Inglewood Unified serves a low income, high minority community which sits in the shadow of Los Angeles. By just being born in this city kids are already at a disadvantage: high crime, high poverty, high teen pregnancy. So when the District received tens of millions of dollars in state aid as part of takeover, the hope was to clean up the schools. KPCC wanted to find out if that happened. We investigated Inglewood Unified schools and found conditions at an all time low: campuses dealing with rats, fire safety problems, exposed wiring and an increase in violence. We also found campus security was eliminated while the new superintendent of the district received a $150,000 a year personal security detail. There were results from their investigation, including a massive clean up and repair of schools, rehiring of campus security personnel and an end to the superintendent's security detail.
  • Data show that poorer families are bearing the brunt of college price hikes

    In an 11-month project, The Hechinger Report empirically tested the oft-repeated claim of universities and colleges that they are helping low-income students afford the cost of higher education. The Report analyzed federal data to determine the net price -- what students are actually charged, after discounts and financial aid are taken into account -- at thousands of colleges and universities. The Report found many schools increased the net price much faster for their lowest-income students than for wealthier ones. Sidebars also showed that federal financial aid, including tax credits and the work-study program, disproportionately benefit the rich. And in a followup, using a successive year of data later made available during 2014, The Hechinger Report reported that 100 colleges and universities that promised at a White House summit to make higher education more affordable for the lowest-income students had actually raised their prices faster for the poorest students than for wealthier ones. The project included a unique, first-of-its-kind, easy-to-use, searchable website called Tuition Tracker (tuitiontracker.org) through which readers could find any college and university and see how its net price has changed, by any of five income groupings.
  • Troubled Landlords

    For at least a decade, Twin Cities landlords Hyder Jaweed and Asgher Ali ran a rental property empire that left hundreds of tenants -- most often low income and/or immigrants -- living in squalid conditions and left city inspectors wishing there were laws to stop the landlords.
  • The Other Welfare

    The series examines the $10 billion federal disability program for low income children in Massachusetts. The author found that the program gives incentives for parents to put their children on psychotropic drugs.
  • Section 8 Scandal

    The series discovered that the person running the Section 8 housing program in New Orleans, was also living in the housing himself. This housing is intended for low income people and families, not those making "6-figure salaries". After this story, action was taken and new leadership was brought into the Section 8 program of the Housing Authority (HANO).
  • Cashing in on Kids

    Child-care programs were setup to encourage low income parents to get and keep their jobs. This program covered the cost of child care, but as it turns out "millions of taxpayer dollars" were misused by corrupt parents and daycare providers. Further, this series revealed a number of drug dealers can be tied to the daycare providers. Also, it revealed how regulators overlooked the problem, lawmakers and their weak laws, and workers trying to bring this to attention and their bosses shutting them down.
  • Dr. Brain DDS

    "For decades low-income children complained to police that a local dentist criminally assaulted them...The State of Washington paid the dentist millions of tax-dollars, while encouraging families on welfare to visit his office. KIRO Team 7 Investigators not only uncovered never-before released court files, but also exposed a system that rewards disciplined dentists."
  • Land Grab: Affordable housing plan goes awry

    Loder investigated the sale of several public properties to nonprofits and found that the organizations were fronts for developers who used them to get deals on the land. These developers ignored agreements to build only low-income housing on the properties.