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Virtual charter schools make big money but little progress

09 November 2015
Young child uses computer
Virtual charter schools are allowing private education corporations to make huge profits by cutting costs such as teacher salaries and student support. However results are consistently showing that the online-based education model is failing to provide the essential learning environment and support which young people need to excel.

The results from virtual charter schools are certainly alarming. Although US ‘industry’ leader K12 made over $900 million in revenue from virtual schools last year (mostly tax-payer funded), research shows that students engaged in virtual charter education are rapidly falling behind. A report released by the pro-charter think tank CREDO found that students attending virtual charters learn significantly less in math and reading than similar students attending normal schools.

The profits which these corporations make from running virtual charter schools have a direct human cost. Firstly, on the teachers and support workers who are deemed an ‘unnecessary’ expense. But more importantly on the young people who not only display worse results but are also deprived of the educational support, shared learning opportunities and community spirit which a proper public education helps to foster.

Education is amongst the most vital of public services and PSI affirms that the quality of schooling which young people have access to should not be determined by profit driven corporations.

For the full text and more information on the growing movement against charter schools visit In the Public Interest.


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