Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Media Contact:
Jeremy Mohler,, 301-752-8413

Statement on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s new federal funding for “online/virtual” education that will accelerate privatization of public education

OAKLAND, CA—In the Public Interest has released the following research summary on online public education and a statement from Executive Director Donald Cohen in response to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s launch of more than $300 million in discretionary federal grant funding:

“Given the Secretary’s pro-privatization track record, public school parents and students have every reason to worry. This could help open the door for some of the most predatory companies in for-profit online education, like K12 Inc. and Connections Academy.”

“This is someone who once said public education was a ‘dead end.’ When she says ‘we must rethink education,’ it’s clear what she really means: dismantle public education and sell it for parts.” 

“All public education decisions, online or not, should be teacher- and student-driven, not driven by for-profit companies. Her track record gives us every reason to believe that that won’t be the case with this new program.”    

In the Public Interest research on online education:

  • A report describing the poorly resourced environment and poor student academic performance at K12 Inc.’s California Virtual Academies (CAVA), the largest provider of virtual public education in California.

  • A research brief collecting data and research on virtual charter schools, from student performance and scandals to student privacy.

In the Public Interest is a nonprofit organization that studies public services and advocates for the common good.

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