Education Industry News

Published October 1, 2001

Ameris to Merge with Children’s Comprehensive Services

On August 9, a merger was announced between Ameris Acquisition, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Kids Holdings, Inc., and Children’s Comprehensive Services, Inc. a provider of education, treatment, and juvenile justice services for at-risk children. Ameris will acquire all of CCS’s outstanding shares.

Aspen Acquires Excel Academy

Aspen Education Group, a provider of supplementary educational programs for the K-12 market, announced on August 7 it had acquired Texas-based Excel Academy, a boarding school for emotionally challenged students.

Chancellor To Add 20 Schools in Fall

Chancellor Academies, Inc., a provider of public charter schools and independent private schools, announced on July 30 it will open 20 new schools this fall. The company will open 11 schools in south and central Florida, eight schools in Arizona, and one in Washington, DC. The news schools will bring Chancellor’s total enrollment to more than 10,000 students in 35 charter and independent private schools.

Education Key to Pearson Growth

Pearson’s expansion within the education industry was the subject of an August 1 Financial Times article, which noted Pearson now derives about half of its revenues from its varied education businesses. The company feels the education business will maintain its stability as education remains at the forefront of the U.S. political agenda and many states have increased funding for education in recent years. Funding Secured

Led by angel investors and the company’s management team,, a developer of computer skills curriculum and assessment tools for the K-12 market, announced on August 9 it received $5.2 million in its series B round of funding.

Lighter Textbooks?

In a recent study, Eduventures analyst Sean Gallagher notes for-profit postsecondary institutions may drive adoptions of products and services from other sectors–such as the digital publishing sector. He writes: “As publishers of digital textbooks look to gain traction in the postsecondary market during the coming academic year, many vendors may discover that for-profit postsecondary companies such as Apollo, DeVry, and others will spearhead the movement to bring textbook content entirely online.”

Sharp Drop in Private Investment in Education

According to data released recently by Venture Economics, the total venture capital investment in Q2 2001 of $10.6 billion in the education industry represented a 61 percent drop over the Q2 2000 total of $27.2 billion.

Over the same period, Eduventures research shows private investment in education dropped by 68 percent, from $814 million in Q2 2000 to $247 million in Q2 2001. Education investments, which represented 2.9 percent of overall venture capital totals in Q2 2000, now account for 2.3 percent of the total in Q2 2001.

Sylvan Takes on Teacher Training

In mid-July Sylvan Learning Systems announced the formation of its new Online Higher Education division, comprising its teacher training business, Canter & Associates; its online university, Walden; its K-12 teacher certification company, Sylvan Teachers Institute; and the online provider of continuing adult education,, which Sylvan is in the process of acquiring.

Test Push Leads to Linked Services

On August 2, The Princeton Review, a provider of test preparation services, and Plato Learning, Inc., an e-learning provider for the K-12 market, announced a partnership. Through the partnership, students’ performance on, a division of The Princeton Review that helps students prepare for state assessments, will be directly linked to Plato’s online courseware.

Virtual Schools Study

Eduventures is currently assessing the prospect of undertaking a study of the institutional and consumer market opportunities for virtual school providers. Organizations interested in supporting this research should contact Eduventures director and senior analyst Adam Newman at [email protected].

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