The closure of New Vision is by no means a fluke. A 2015 report by the liberal watchdog group The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) concluded that approximately 2,500 charter schools shut down across the US between 2001 and 2013, affecting 288,000 students, and noted that “the failure rate for charter schools is much higher than for traditional public schools.” As well, the report points out that school closures leave a lasting impact on students’ success rates and can contribute to higher rates of youth incarceration.
New Vision’s financial irregularities are no anomaly, either. On Jan 9, 2019, it was reported that up to 100 charter schools in Arizona could close as a result of financial mishandling. Another report by CMD titled “Charter School Black Hole” demonstrated that charter schools and their state and federal “overseers” could not account for the $3.7 billion they had received since 1995. The CMD report also found that millions of dollars went toward “ghost schools,” charters that either never opened or briefly opened and then shut.