Charter advocacy groups' report urges overhaul of cyber funding and regulation

A group of national charter school advocacy groups released a controversial report this week recommending that poor-performing virtual, or cyber, charter schools be closed. It also proposed that states overhaul the funding and oversight systems to regulate them.

“We believe that existing policies for oversight of full-time virtual charter schools are particularly inadequate,” reads the report, titled A Call to Action: To Improve the Quality of Full-Time Virtual Charter Public Schools.”

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Why cybers? Safety, individual learning, second chances

Like most parents, Clea Jones starts her day by waking up her children and getting them ready for school. But instead of putting them on a school bus, navigating public transportation, or carpooling with other students, Jones’ children only have to walk down the stairs of their Southwest Philadelphia home. Jones’ three school-aged children – 10th grader Muhammed, 5th grader Aaliyah, and 1st grader Jameel Burgess — are students at Agora Cyber Charter School, one of Pennsylvania’s 14 cyber charters.

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Cuts mean no paper, rodents in classrooms

“Our principal was running around the whole school looking for paper,” recalled Leah Hood, a parent at Lingelbach Elementary in Germantown. “And he couldn’t find paper anywhere in the school.” Instead, she said, the principal used their local city councilman’s office to print the materials he needed that day.

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Districts’ only link to cyber charters: Money

Only a small percentage of U.S. children attend school completely online, but the population that online schools serve has increased dramatically over the last few years and it is projected to continue to climb. In some states, the online charter school industry has seen exponential growth in recent years.

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For students with juvenile justice involvement, better options lead to more diplomas

From the time Quad’ir Ford was an infant, he was practically on his own.

Both of his parents were in and out of prison throughout his childhood, and when he was a teenager, his mother died. At 13, Ford was arrested for robbery and sent to Glen Mills School, a residential placement facility for court-adjudicated youth. Though Glen Mills served as a punishment, Ford – who had already been through so much struggle and instability – also saw it as a comfort.

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