Pennsylvania has 16 online charter schools for K-12. They all get terrible results. Some are for profit, some are nonprofit. The state auditor issued a scathing report earlier this year finding that they overcharge the state by many millions of dollars.

Rhonda Brownstein of the Education Law Center urges the state education board to reject all of the applications. The state has proven that it can’t monitor those it already has.

She writes:

“The Pennsylvania Department of Education is considering eight new cyber charter school applications, including four that would target Philadelphia-area students. It should not approve a single one.

“The academic performance of the more than 32,000 students in the state’s 16 existing cyber charter schools – the most in any state – raises serious questions about these primarily online schools, and it should give the Education Department great pause.

“Moreover, state laws governing cyber charters require the department to review the schools every year, and to close them if they aren’t meeting state standards. The department is in danger of violating the law if it continues to ignore the glaring problems of the existing cyber charters. Adding eight more cyber charters would further jeopardize its ability to uphold the law.”