Longform

The New Segregation: School Choice in AZ Takes on a Different Meaning If Your Kid Has a Disability

I spotted Jay Heiler from across a crowded Pei Wei on a hot summer night in 2013. It had been years since I'd seen him last, but Heiler hadn't changed a bit, a head or two taller than the other patrons, a boyish wave in his carefully combed blond hair.

I didn't catch his eye, but I knew he'd come over to say hello, because Jay Heiler is one of the most unfailingly polite people I've ever met. Twenty years ago, he was chief of staff to then-Governor J. Fife Symington, and my colleagues and I regularly beat them both up in the pages of New Times. Still, Heiler always returned my calls.

"Amy Silverman?"

I looked up from my chicken and broccoli and smiled.

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Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at amy-silverman.com.