Beau Evans

Investigative Journalist , Georgia

Beau Evans’ roots run deep in Georgia. His grandfather, Warren, served as Georgia’s Insurance Commissioner from 1985 to 1991 and as a member of the state House of Representatives from 1975 to 1985, representing McDuffie County near Augusta. An Atlanta native, Beau worked as a journalist in New Orleans and California’s Bay Area before returning home to Georgia in the summer of 2019 to cover state government. Since then, he’s reported on two legislative sessions, the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 election cycle, including the U.S. Senate runoffs. From flooding and crime in New Orleans, to schools and climate change on California’s shores, to the halls of the State Capitol in Atlanta, there are few subjects Beau has not covered in his passion to understand the issues and interests that matter most for the communities he serves.

Credit: iStock
Credit: iStock

How Georgia Evaluates Thousands of Sex Offenders

August 02, 2021
5 min read
How closely Georgia’s sex offenders are watched after returning to local communities post-prison depends on the work of a little-known state agency with a big case backlog.Created in 2006, Georgia’s Sexual Offender Registration Review Board (called “SORRB”) is tasked with deciding every convicted sex offender’s risk for committing another seriou...

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Credit: Georgia Governor's Office of Student Ac...
Credit: Georgia Governor's Office of Student Ac...

Money, Poverty and the Pitfalls of Georgia’s Public Schools

August 02, 2021
4 min read
Georgia struggles to stretch its tax dollars when it comes to turning around test scores and graduation rates for thousands of students in low-performing public schools.More than 1.7 million students were enrolled in roughly 2,250 public and charter schools in Georgia during the 2020 spring semester, around when the pandemic sent students home f...

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Credit: Beau Evans (State Affairs)
Credit: Beau Evans (State Affairs)

Georgia Government Workers Headed Back to the Office – Mostly

August 02, 2021
4 min read
How Georgians access state-government services could look different going forward after many state agencies shifted to working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.Daycare inspectors, crime-lab technicians, prison administrators and rental-assistance specialists have either recently returned or will soon resume in-person work after more than a ...

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Credit: Beau Evans (State Affairs)
Credit: Beau Evans (State Affairs)

Meet the Chief Evaluator of Georgia’s Sex Offenders

August 02, 2021
3 min read
Tracy Alvord runs a state agency that plays a big role in deciding how closely Georgia's sex offenders are watched once they leave prison and return to local communities.For the past decade, Alvord has headed up the little-known state agency that plays a big role in how Georgia’s more-than 23,000 sex offenders are tracked after they’ve served ti...

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Credit: iStock
Credit: iStock

Lifelong Educator Born to Help Georgia’s Struggling Schools

August 02, 2021
3 min read
Stephanie Johnson oversees the state government's efforts to raise academic performance for thousands of Georgia's struggling students.Since 2017, Johnson has led a state office that sends staff specialists and federal money to help turn around classroom experiences for more than 150,000 public K-12 and charter students in Georgia. With tight sc...

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Credit: iStock
Credit: iStock

Closures, Reversions Put Georgia Charter Schools to the Test

August 18, 2021
8 min read
Michele Neely knew nothing about charter schools when she set out to find a less regimented, less test-focused school for her children. She found the right fit at the International Charter School of Atlanta, a north Fulton County charter school that had a more relaxed attitude on test scores and offered classes in more than just English as a dua...

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Credit: iStock
Credit: iStock

Tax-Dollar Tensions Strain Local Charter Schools in Georgia

August 18, 2021
3 min read
Georgia's state-funded charter schools are free and open to all students, but many miss out on local tax dollars that benefit students in traditional K-12 public schools.More than 67,000 students enrolled in charter schools in the spring of 2021, totaling roughly 1 in 26 students out of the state’s total 1.7 million student population, according...

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Credit: iStock
Credit: iStock

The Staggering Cost of Prescription Drugs in Georgia

August 24, 2021
10 min read
For Nicola Jackson, how to stretch her family’s tight budget often boils down to choosing between paying for the prescription drugs she needs to stave off head-splitting migraines or buying groceries. Medicare doesn’t cover all the costs for her medications to treat fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and nerve damage, leaving Jackson to scrape f...

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Credit: iStock
Credit: iStock

Georgia’s Prescription-Drug Costs Rise in the Shadows

August 24, 2021
3 min read
Why prescription-drug costs have soared in recent years remains unknown for millions of Georgians, largely due to a complex web of interactions between behind-the-scenes companies.Drugmakers are far from the only players in the complex system that has led to higher medication prices and costs in Georgia since 2010. State lawmakers have recently ...

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Credit: Georgia Department of Behavioral Health...
Credit: Georgia Department of Behavioral Health...

Meet the Head of State Mental-Health Services in Georgia

August 31, 2021
3 min read
Judy Fitzgerald leads the state Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD), overseeing a $1.3 billion annual budget – the sixth-highest among all state agencies – to provide mental-health services and substance-abuse treatment for about 212,000 Georgia residents.DBHDD manages the state’s psychiatric hospitals, mental-...

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Credit: iStock
Credit: iStock

Keeping Tabs on $70 Billion in Georgia Road Construction

September 22, 2021
4 min read
How quickly Georgia drivers see hundreds of roads and bridges fixed up to avoid traffic headaches depends on billions of new tax dollars amassed since 2015.Less than half of Georgia’s nearly 126,000 miles of state and local highways had pavement in good condition as of 2019, totaling a distance larger than two trips around the world potentially ...

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Illustration by Brittney Phan (State Affairs)
Illustration by Brittney Phan (State Affairs)

Georgia College Officials, Professors Battle over Online Classes

October 18, 2021
5 min read
James Schiffman doesn’t regret moving one of his classes online this semester, despite the trouble he now finds himself in with his school’s administration.Schiffman, who teaches communications at Georgia College and State University, said he moved one of his larger classes online to start the semester since it was difficult to social distance a...

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Illustration by Brittney Phan (State Affairs)
Illustration by Brittney Phan (State Affairs)

Why Most Georgia Colleges Charged More – Much More – for Online Classes

October 18, 2021
4 min read
For many families, paying for college is one of the biggest expenses. It’s been an even bigger expense for students in Georgia who have taken online classes in recent years.Until 2017, thousands of Georgia undergraduate students paid more to take online classes at most public colleges and universities than regular in-person classes – in some cas...

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Illustration by Brittney Phan (State Affairs)
Illustration by Brittney Phan (State Affairs)

Georgia has Lost Thousands of Preschool, Daycare Teachers. Can the Lottery Help?

November 03, 2021
5 min read
Paige McKay Kubik lost a third of her staff at preschools and daycares she runs through the Frazer Center in Atlanta after the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Months later, she found it nearly impossible to hire new teachers – mostly due to competition from better-paying, less stressful jobs behind a cash register.“Frankly, you could work for Target or W...

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Illustration by Brittney Phan (State Affairs)
Illustration by Brittney Phan (State Affairs)

Georgia Daycares Miss Out on Millions in Lottery Dollars

November 03, 2021
3 min read
While the lottery funds universal preschool for Georgia’s four-year-old children, thousands of families pay out-of-pocket to enroll their younger kids in local daycares – often at a steep price.Nearly $24 billion in proceeds from lottery ticket sales has gone to fund preschools and the HOPE and Zell Miller college scholarships since the Georgia ...

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Credit: iStock
Credit: iStock

Meet Georgia’s Preschool and Daycare Chief

November 03, 2021
3 min read
The road out of the COVID-19 pandemic looks tough for Amy Jacobs, who oversees preschool and daycare services for hundreds of thousands of toddlers and their families in Georgia.Jacobs, who heads Georgia’s Department of Early Care and Learning, faces a recent loss of preschool teachers during the pandemic to higher-paying jobs and the looming en...

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Illustration by Brittney Phan (State Affairs)
Illustration by Brittney Phan (State Affairs)

Big-Dollar Broadband Expansion Ahead for Georgia: Who’s Watching the Money?

November 24, 2021
5 min read
Nearly half a million homes and businesses in the Peach State – close to 1 in 10 – don't have access to high-speed internet. But now there's hundreds of millions of dollars worth of public contracts heading Georgia's way, creating a "wild West" of spending and bidding and raising serious questions for officials and policy experts about whether t...

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Illustration by Brittney Phan (State Affairs)
Illustration by Brittney Phan (State Affairs)

‘It’s Inexcusable’: Just 10% of Georgia’s $552 Million in Rent Relief has Reached Tenants, Landlords after 8 Months

December 16, 2021
9 min read
Georgia is on the clock to dole out $552 million the federal government has given the state to help thousands of struggling residents pay their rent. State officials had paid out just $57 million of that to applicants between April and mid-December this year – rounding out to a 10% clearance rate more than 8 months into the program.

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Credit: Beau Evans (State Affairs)
Credit: Beau Evans (State Affairs)

Top Drafter of Georgia's $27 Billion Budget Looks to 2022

December 29, 2021
5 min read
State Rep. Terry England, a Republican from Barrow County, has overseen passage of 24 state budgets over his 12 legislative sessions as the House’s top budget-drafter. The budget funds Georgia’s public schools and colleges, Medicaid programs, state law enforcement, mental-health services and more than 68,000 government workers.

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Illustration by Brittney Phan (State Affairs)
Illustration by Brittney Phan (State Affairs)

Grades, Attendance Stumble in Georgia Public Schools Amid Pandemic

January 12, 2022
4 min read
The dust has started settling on the damage done to Georgia’s 1.7 million public school students from COVID-19 – and the initial picture looks rough. Across the Peach State, teachers report their students have fallen months behind in their studies since the pandemic broke out.

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