EdNews reporter Blake Jones has been named to the Education Writers Association’s 12th class of reporting fellows, the national journalism nonprofit announced Friday.
Over the next six months, Jones will track and report on spending of federal coronavirus relief funds carved out for Idaho’s K-12 public schools. His watchdog project will focus on spending in economically disadvantaged schools and districts, with an eye toward innovative, replicable programs supported by the stimulus.
The latest round of relief is set to inject some $440 million into the state’s K-12 schools, nearly a quarter of Idaho’s $2 billion K-12 budget.
The Education Writers Association will provide funding for videography, graphics and travel expenses to help bring the numbers behind an historic funding windfall to life.
“For education reporters, getting the time and resources they need to tell stories that make a difference is often much harder than it should be,” said Caroline Hendrie, EWA’s executive director. “We hope that this fresh round of support will move our members a step closer to reaching their own ambitious goals.”
EdNews has now earned four Education Writers fellowships in eight years of operation. Most recently, senior reporter Kevin Richert netted his second EWA fellowship, with a series on the state’s higher education enrollment challenges set to publish next week.
“I’m extremely proud of this national recognition and support,” said Jennifer Swindell, managing editor at EdNews. “It’s quite impressive that Blake has reached such an accomplishment in the early stage of his career.”
Jones is one of 12 EWA fellows; his class is the largest in the organization’s history.
Jones joined EdNews in April to report on the politics and policy of K-12 education. He holds degrees in Political Economy and Creative Writing from the College of Idaho. Send him tips at [email protected].