About Spotlight Schools

Spotlight Schools is a hyperlocal newsroom dedicated to covering education in Orange County. We're making it easier to get reliable and trusted information about your school and district, leaving you better informed to make decisions about your child's public school education. Our information network includes a website, email newsletter, and Instagram and Twitter accounts which together offer insightful coverage you can trust.

Founded in 2021, Spotlight Schools was selected as part of the Tiny News Collective, a national initiative to launch hundreds of local newsrooms across America in the next few years. Spotlight Schools is supported by Google News Initiative, LION Publishers and News Catalyst.

Our Mission

Spotlight Schools helps you better understand, navigate and participate in the TK-12 public school experience in Orange County.

Our Vision

Our goal is for Spotlight Schools to be the most trusted source for education reporting in Orange County. A trusted news source can bring people together around facts, shared challenges and thoughtful solutions. With trust there’s increased civic engagement, more informed and respectful debates, responsive governing and ultimately, better outcomes for all.

Our Values

Spotlight Schools delivers fact-based, independent, civic-minded reporting that clarifies the issues by going beyond partisan narratives with these values as our guide:

Accuracy — Facts are everything. Our #1 priority is to deliver reporting that captures what is actually happening locally. We strive to provide necessary context, use precise language and show measured proportionality to reveal the complexity of issues. If an error occurs, we will fix it as quickly as possible and make the correction known.
Public Service — We aim to serve the public interest with nonpartisan journalism that is reliable and geared toward fostering understanding, civic engagement and civil discourse.
Cooperation — Build the news with Spotlight Schools. We want to partner with parents, students, educators, community members and stakeholders to get accurate information out to everyone.
Transparency — Not only do we work to uncover how public officials do their jobs, we also want readers to understand how we do our jobs as journalists. That means giving you information about our process such as how we select stories, correcting errors quickly, and explaining editorial decisions.
Independence — We are nonpartisan. We report without fear or favor. We employ skepticism but not cynicism. Our financial supporters do not influence our editorial decisions.

Who is Spotlight Schools for?

  • Do you live in Orange County and want to better understand what’s happening at TK-12 schools?
  • Do you want to be able to make informed decisions about your child’s education?
  • Are you tired of relying on unverified posts online for hyperlocal coverage about your school?

If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, then Spotlight Schools is for you! Subscribe to the newsletter here.

Learn about our staff →