Establishment Continues to Attack Cyber Schools

At a hearing yesterday, Pennsylvania School Boards Association touted additional proposals to cut off funding for cyber charter schools.

One of these proposals would be that cyber schools would not receive funding if their home district had an online program. I see little difference with this proposal and cutting off funding for brick-and-mortar charters if school districts had building – which of course, would end all charter schools.

The second was to not fund any opportunity offered in a cyber school that a district did not offer. As this applies to things like preschool, it makes sense, but a large reason parents are choosing cyber schools for their children is that they have academic offerings traditional schools do not.

The bottom line is that these proposals are intended to cut off competition to the monopoly system. It is hard to explain how students are better served if, instead of 11 options for online education, they have only one (and it is assigned based on their zip code).

Indeed, cyber schools represent a small fraction of school spending, and educate students for much less than school districts spend per pupil. The public school establishment should stop focusing on the one-half of one percent of education dollars going to cyber schools, and instead look at how the other $26 billion is being spent.