This week the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado published the fourteenth edition of its report, Profiles of For-Profit and Nonprofit Education Management Organizations. According to NEPC’s press release, “The real growth in the for-profit sector is with companies that operate virtual schools. The growth of virtual schools, which is fueled by millions in advertising dollars is astounding because of the sketchy academic results reported by the schools that operate online.” According to NEPC, K-12 Inc., the largest for-profit Education Management Organization, now enrolls 87,091 students in the 57 virtual schools it operates across the states.
It is therefore appropriate that the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) recently launched a new series of profiles, “America’s Highest Paid Government Workers,” on its OutsourcingAmericaExposed.org web page with the story of Ron Packard, the CEO of K-12 Inc. CMD’s “highest paid government workers” are people who work for private companies and contractors but whose salaries are paid with our tax dollars. CMD reports: “K-12 Inc. is a publicly traded, for-profit, online education company headquartered in Herndon, Virginia.” “In 2013, K-12 Inc. took in $848.2 million from its businesses, with $730.8 million coming from its ‘managed public schools’ with 86 percent of the company’s profits from tax dollars. According to CMD, Packard made $19 million from tax dollars paid to K-12 Inc. in 2013.