AP: Charter School Backers Contributed Millions To State-Level Campaigns
As enrollment in online charter schools has soared across the U.S., states have struggled to put in place regulations ensuring students get a real education and cyber schools get the right amount of funding. The virtual schools' future is of renewed interest since the installation of U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, an online charter school investor and advocate who views them as a valuable option for students. While some perform well, the sector has been plagued by accounts of poor performance, mismanagement, fiscal malfeasance and questionable student attendance and participation. National data show enrollment has tripled in the past decade, a period during which school choice advocates contributed nearly 89 million dollars to state-level campaigns. The schools' defenders argue they serve nontraditional students underserved by traditional public schools.