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Bonamici Stands Up for Public Education

June 13, 2018
Press Release
Raises Concerns about For-Profit Online Charter Schools

WASHINGTON, DC [06/13/18] – Today Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), a leader on the House Education Committee, spoke out strongly in support of public education in a hearing about charter schools. She highlighted concerns about for-profit online charter schools.


“We have a moral and civil rights obligation to make sure that all children have access to a high-quality public education that includes great schools, great teachers, and great administrators,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “I have significant concerns about for-profit online charter schools. Although online classes can be a good way to expand educational opportunities for students, in Oregon less than half of the students who attend online for-profit charter schools graduated on time in 2016; that’s 30 points behind the state average.


“The Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University found that online charter schools have an overwhelmingly negative effect on student achievement. According to CREDO, online charter students lost 180 days of learning in math and 72 days of learning in reading compared to students in traditional public schools. Losing 180 days of learning in math out of a 180-day school year is unacceptable. As one researcher concluded, ‘It is literally as if the kid did not go to school for an entire year.’”


You can watch video of Bonamici’s remarks here.


Recently in Education Secretary DeVos’ first appearance before the committee, Bonamici pressed DeVos about her focus on diverting public funding to private schools rather than addressing the issues that challenge public schools, especially schools in low-income neighborhoods. Education Secretary DeVos has been a major proponent of expanding charter schools in her home state of Michigan, without adequate oversight, appropriate quality standards, or protections for students.


Bonamici is the Vice Ranking Member of the House Education Committee and a leader on education policy issues in Congress. In 2015, her legislation to reduce duplicative testing in schools played a key role in building support for the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act that updated federal K-12 education policies.