Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Growth of For-profit Education Management Organizations Now Leveling Off


Growth of For-profit Education Management Organizations Now Leveling Off
July 30, 2008

CONTACT: Gary Miron -- (269) 599-7965;
Alex Molnar -- (480) 965-1886;

TEMPE, Ariz and BOULDER, Colo. (Wednesday, July 30, 2008) -- The 10th annual "Profiles of For-Profit Education Management Organizations: 2007-2008" released today finds that the growth of for-profit Education Management Organizations (EMOs) appears to be leveling off. The report was released by the Commercialism in Education Research Unit and the Education Policy Research Unit at ASU, and the Education and the Public Interest Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Key findings of the new report include:

1) In 2007-2008 the number of for-profit EMOs is substantially unchanged from 2006-2007. The report documents a net increase of two new companies profiled, bringing the total in the U.S. to 50 for-profit EMOs.

2) The overall number of schools managed by EMOs declined by 11 over the past year. In 2007-2008 a total of 533 schools were managed by for-profit EMOs. Edison Schools Inc. had the largest net decrease in the number of schools that it reported managing, from 97 to 80 schools.

3) Although the number of schools operated by EMOs decreased in 2007-2008, the total enrollment in the EMO-managed schools increased to 254,413. The report documents an overall increase of 16,000 students over the last two school years.

4) Most EMO-managed schools are charter schools (85%). A small but growing number (8%) are virtual schools.

5) Eighty-four percent of for-profit schools are managed by large EMOs (those managing more than 10 schools). Schools run by large EMOs account for 89 percent of students enrolled in for-profit schools.

6) Most EMO-managed schools are primary schools (60%). Primary schools run by large EMOs have a higher median enrollment than primary schools run by medium- and small-size EMOs.

Arizona State University Professor Alex Molnar, the lead author of the Profiles report, says, "while new smaller companies continue to enter the market, the for-profit school management industry continues to be dominated by larger EMOs that concentrate on primary schools enrolling relatively large numbers of students."

Co-author, Western Michigan University Professor Gary Miron points out "although the data suggest that the growth of EMOs has slowed and is leveling off, many of the medium and large-size EMOs have been diversifying and expanding into new service areas, such as the provision of supplemental education services -- a sector that is less regulated and shows growth potential."

Gary Miron, Professor
Western Michigan University

Alex Molnar, Professor and Director
Commercialism in Education Research Unit
Education Policy Research Unit


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