ERIC Number: EJ973149
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb-22
Reference Count: N/A
Publicly Traded Ed. Companies Are Rare
Flanigan, Robin L.
Education Week, v31 n21 p1, 16-17 Feb 2012
K12 Inc., the nation's largest provider of online precollegiate education, was launched in 2000 and went public seven years later after raising about $140 million in revenue. Like other companies, it moved from being privately held to being publicly traded to raise more money quickly, increase brand awareness, and accelerate business goals. The company now works with more than 2,000 U.S. school districts and reported $522.4 million in revenue last fiscal year. But there's a risk to taking education to Wall Street--one that helps explain why so few publicly traded companies cater to the educational needs of students in elementary, middle, and high school. K12's stock prices plummeted after a Dec. 12 article in "The New York Times" accused the Herndon, Va.-based company of wresting profits from public school dollars by increasing enrollment without concern for student retention, assigning teachers to unmanageably large classes, and lowering standards. Regardless of the current debate over the profit motive in education, the stock market can pump a lot of money into companies targeting the K-12 instructional market. And if a company's goal is to grow big, venture capitalists can only take it so far, observers say. While some economic analysts note it's unlikely many more education companies will go public in the near future, a few trends--such as the increasing emphasis on digital education, as well as global education in emerging markets worldwide--may eventually turn the tide.
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, Business, Private Sector, Fund Raising, Educational Needs, Income, Corporations, Investment, Educational Finance, Outsourcing
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States