Sending Office: Honorable Mark Pocan
Sent By:

For-Profit Virtual Charter Schools

Oversight Briefing

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 2:00 pm – 2359 Rayburn


Dear Colleague:

I write to invite you to attend a briefing on for-profit virtual charter schools led by Neil Campbell from the Center for American Progress and co-author of the report
Profit Before Kids: An Analysis of the Performance and Financial Practices of For-Profit, Virtual Charter Schools, and Greg Richmond,
the President and CEO of NACSA (the National Association of Charter School Authorizers).

As Profit Before Kids states:

“Online instruction can increase access and leverage new technologies. Yet fully virtual charter schools run by for-profit companies have an incentive to divert dollars from instruction in order to maximize profit. News stories report
that many of these operators cut corners on instructional materials and allocate public dollars to marketing, political contributions, executive compensation, and profits…Even when serving populations with lower percentages of low-income students than nearby
urban school districts, for-profit virtual schools perform worse…Laws and regulations have not kept pace with the rapid growth of fully virtual charter schools. More stringent accountability provisions are needed to ensure that innovative instructional models
improve student outcomes.”

The recent committee-passed Labor-HHS appropriations bill recognizes these concerns, and includes the following report language:

“The Committee notes widespread findings of waste and abuse in the for-profit virtual charter school sector and directs the Department to provide the Committees on Appropriations, within 180 days of enactment of this Act, the amount
of CSP funding this sector received between fiscal years 2014 through fiscal year 2019. In addition, the Department shall provide the total funding for all of the agency’s programs that goes to for-profit, virtual charter schools.”

The time has come for increased oversight of this sector of the education landscape, and I invite you to join us for this important discussion.  Please contact David Bagby of my staff at or (202) 225-2906 with any questions about this event.




Mark Pocan

Member of Congress


Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Education

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