Virtual Charter School Accountability: A Primer for Better Informed and More Effective Oversight Now

Virtual charter schools educate approximately 180,000 students in 23 states1. They account for about seven percent of total public charter school enrollment across the country, but make up a larger share of students in many states. Recent reports from research institutions, such as Stanford-based CREDO and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, as well as five state education agencies (SEAs) highlight the discouraging academic outcomes for students in virtual charter schools. These findings come in tandem with several distressing cases of fraud, including the settlement announced by the California attorney general related to claims against the California Virtual Academies and K12.3