Carol Burris, executive director of the Betwork for Public Education, writes in The Progressive that it should be illegal to run a charter school for profit, just as it is illegal to run a public school for profit. Since the charter school lobby claims that charter schools are “public schools,” they should insist on banning for-profit charters.

Please open the link. This is an important article.

Burris writes:

From insider deals to real estate flips, the problems with charter schools run by for-profit corporations can’t be ignored. And growth in this sector is accelerating as operators use lax regulations and complicated corporate schemes to harvest public dollars from publicly-funded charter schools.

Those are the findings of a new report, Chartered for Profit II: Pandemic Profiteering, from the Network for Public Education (NPE), the organization I lead. We determined that for-profit corporations operate nearly 17 percent of all charter schools. And because many are online schools with high enrollments, one in five charter school students attended a for-profit run charter during the 2021-2022 school year.

In some states, the percentage of students in for-profit-run schools is staggering. More than 50 percent of all Florida charter school students are in schools run by for-profit companies; in Ohio, the percentage tops 60 percent. In Michigan, a startling 72 percent of all of the state’s charter school students attend a school run by one of forty-five corporations.

And this is not in the best interest of children. Students of charters run for profit graduate at lower rates and have more adverse academic outcomes as the number of charter services managed by for-profit operators increases. That conclusion, by the way, comes from a report published by the pro-charter Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an Ohio charter school sponsor.

Students of charters run for profit graduate at lower rates and have more adverse academic outcomes.

Some of these schools are part of large national chains. Four of the five largest for-profit chains now run their schools with sweeps contracts, meaning that 90 percent or more of the public dollars coming into the school are “swept” into for-profit-controlled bank accounts. The largest, Academica, which runs a private online international school that gives out American high school diplomas, manages 205 charter schools in nine states. Thirteen for-profit chains run twenty or more schools or campuses. Nearly half of all 110 for-profit operators in the United States run only one or two schools. These micro-education management organizations exist solely to shield financial transactions and owner profits from the public.

The charter industry downplays the prevalence of charter schools being run for profit because the mission of for-profit companies is to maximize profits, which puts the focus on financial gain, not students.

Open the link, please.