Cyber charter schools are expanding as a sector of public education.
The article examines the weaknesses of the existing oversight system which relies primarily on disclosure of information to the state Department of Education and other governmental agencies, all of which lack adequate resources to respond effectively to the disclosures. My focus is on how the schools fit into the larger debate over governance of nonprofits, not to evaluate the educational value of this form. Charter schools, including cyber charters, share the same challenges of overreliance on disclosure instead of enforcement of rules, insufficient education and training of board members, and a lack of transparency as other non-profits. The article reviews the issues raised by the available documents which raise questions about the frequent use of for-profit management entities, expenditures for advertising, and the concerns about conflicts of interest raised in some cases. The article proposes increased funding for oversight, revision of the funding formula to reflect the lower costs of cyber education, and greater transparency by the schools.