The last 15 years have seen a dramatic charter school growth; online charter enrollments alone increased 75% between 2006 and 2011. A new report from Stanford’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) was released this month titled “Charter School Performance in Pennsylvania.” The report was sanctioned by the PA Department of Education and compares student performance in brick and mortar charter schools, online charters and traditional public schools. PA has many low-performing charter schools, but the report finds that online charters lead to “substantially negative learning gains in both reading and math.”

The 1997 PA charter school law lacks account ability standards and require the same per pupil expenditure as brick and mortar schools for online charter schools, which operate at much lower cost. The PA Senate is considering “charter reform bills” that will enable charter expansion without accountability. Please ask Senator Corman to end excessive funding for online charters and strengthen their academic accountability. The CREDO report is available at

Carol Hodes, State College. The author is the chairwoman of the AAUW Education Committee.
June 28 2019 Centre Daily Times, Letters to the Editor