January 14, 2022 7:16 pm

What to know about the charter school debate

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By Megan Pauly

In fact, Network for Public Education Executive Director Carol Burris says Virginia is one of only two states (Kansas being the other) that gives local public school districts the sole authority to authorize charter schools. Wyoming used to have the same law but changed it recently, and Maryland law allows the state board of education to overturn the decisions of local school boards.

“There has been a push to take the control of charter schools away from school districts and elected officials of communities and put it in the hands of private groups,” Burris says. “And very often, the charter schools now – in growing numbers – are being run by large corporations, either nonprofit or for-profit, with a growing sector in for-profit.”


Burris’ organization released a 2021 report chronicling the rise of for-profit charter school management companies. These companies contract with school operators to run supposedly non-profit charter schools, often enrolling fewer students from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

You’ll find Executive Director Carol Burris’ quotes in this VPM (Virginia Public Media) piece here.