Groups request $1.5B to help minority-serving colleges respond to coronavirus

educationdive | March 25, 2020

Groups representing historically black colleges and universities and minority-serving institutions (MSIs) are urging Congress to give these schools at least $1.5 billion in emergency aid to help them recover from financial losses sustained due to the coronavirus pandemic.  House Democrats unveiled a $2.5 trillion stimulus bill that would allocate that amount to HBCUs and other MSIs. Last week, several higher ed associations urged the Senate to include $1.5 billion in aid for these schools in its emergency spending package.  The crisis could imperil some colleges, observers say, especially those that have had to issue refunds for room and board and bear the upfront costs of moving instruction online.

Spotlight

Sabrina's family fled from Cuba, and she had to start a new school in a new country, using a new language while also adapting to a new culture. Once Sabrina started at her Stride K12-powered school, she got the support she needed to catch up academically. 

Spotlight

Sabrina's family fled from Cuba, and she had to start a new school in a new country, using a new language while also adapting to a new culture. Once Sabrina started at her Stride K12-powered school, she got the support she needed to catch up academically. 

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Learning Ally Announces PreK-2 Literacy Grant Program for U.S. Schools

Learning Ally | November 24, 2022

To increase reading preparedness in early learners, Learning Ally, a national education nonprofit known to double the rate of reading growth for struggling readers, is announcing its new Excite Reading™ PreK-2 Literacy Grant Program for eligible U.S. schools at no cost. Applications are now open until December 15, 2022. Excite Reading™ is an award-winning early literacy supplement to support PreK-2 teachers who want to share engaging children's literature, while developing emergent readers' comprehension skills. Research tells us that PreK-2 is a critical time for reading development. "Children entering schools today have such diverse backgrounds and needs. Many come unprepared for learning with much less exposure to words and books at home. Putting Excite Reading™ in their hands will play a pivotal role in helping more children learn to read successfully; especially, those struggling in schools located in disadvantaged communities." Lee Peters, Learning Ally's Chief Operating Officer Districts may apply for the Excite Reading™ PreK-2 Literacy Grant Program from now until December 15, 2022. The program runs from January, 2022 to June, 2023. Educators in awarded schools will work with Learning Ally to implement the solution with fidelity and provide benchmark data and feedback. Implementation training, check-ins, and ongoing support are part of the Grant to ensure educator and student success. Early reading success requires evidence-based instruction in both decoding and language comprehension, which includes exposure to text-based vocabulary and background knowledge. Excite Reading™ complements any core literacy instructional curriculum delivered in any MTSS or RTI program framework. The visually stunning audiobook-eBook format includes access to more than two-hundred authentic human-narrated children's audiobooks and resources. Children can listen as they follow along visually, exploring themes including gardens, insects, music and more, with intentional cross-discipline focus on art, social studies, and science connections. Carefully designed language development lessons build vocabulary and background knowledge, with social-emotional components. Activities and discussion prompts create context to deepen comprehension. Corresponding teacher guides support a higher level of discourse, using relevant vocabulary to express questions, answers, and ideas to stimulate critical thinking. A school-to-home connection encourages family literacy. More than 450,000 U.S. educators work with Learning Ally to improve reading outcomes. The organization's PreK-12 Solutions are grounded in Whole Child Literacy™ – the best practices of the science of reading (brain-based learning), cognitive variables, and environmental and social emotional factors that influence each student's learning ability. Peters adds, "For a child who is not reading at proficiency by the end of third grade, the immediate and long term impact can be dire. Getting ahead of each student's potential struggle through early screening, evidence-based instruction, and an approach that considers the child through a holistic lens, is necessary to ensure all children are prepared to 'learn to read' and to 'read to learn' for their future success. In 2022, Excite Reading™ won the American Consortium for Equity in Education Excellence Award for Best Early Childhood Education Solution, Tech & Learning "Back to School" Award of Excellence in Primary Education, and the Readers' Choice Award in Early Literacy by SmartBrief on EdTech. About Learning Ally Learning Ally is a leading education nonprofit dedicated to equipping educators with proven solutions that help new and struggling learners reach their potential. Our range of literacy-focused offerings for students in Pre-K to 12th grade and catalog of professional learning allows us to support more than two million students across the United States.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

AVISTA CAPITAL PARTNERS ACQUIRES SPEAR EDUCATION

Spear Education | December 20, 2022

Avista Capital Partners ("Avista"), a leading private equity firm focused exclusively on healthcare, today announced its acquisition of Spear Education ("Spear" or the "Company"), a tech-enabled provider of digital and in-person clinical training, practice analytics and consulting solutions for the dental market. Transaction terms were not disclosed. Headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ, Spear is the industry's leading dental education provider. Spear offers unmatched breadth of content including 5,000+ on-demand videos, 300+ hands on workshops annually, and 100+ study club modules. Spear's solutions enable dentists to learn higher acuity skills and generate new revenue streams, providing a high ROI to dental practices and practitioners across the spectrum of experience. Avista Partner Sriram Venkatraman, said: "Avista sees Spear as a compelling investment opportunity given its industry leadership, demonstrated growth potential and diversified business model. We look forward to leveraging our deep experience in the healthcare technology sector and dental end-market to help accelerate Spear's growth trajectory. "Spear has achieved robust growth over the last several years, with increases in membership and the expansion of our digital content. We are well positioned to capitalize on the tremendous opportunities ahead, against the backdrop of an accelerating industry. We are thrilled to have Avista as a partner as we pursue a multi-lever expansion strategy that will result in compelling benefits for our customers, employees and the entire dental industry." CEO of Spear Education Kaleim Manji, Steve Schiess, an Avista Strategic Executive with over 30 years of experience in the dental industry, most recently as the CEO of Zest Dental Solutions, a former Avista portfolio company, added, "Spear offers dentists a tremendous value proposition. Spear's education and training courses enable dentists to learn new skills that drive the retention of procedures in-house which, in turn, delivers a high return on their Spear investment. We believe there are multiple opportunities to accelerate both the dental practices' and Spear's growth. Wilkie Farr & Gallagher LLP acted as legal advisor and William Blair acted as financial advisor to Avista. About Spear Education Spear Education is dentistry's premier source for continuing education. The company serves dentists of all clinical skill levels and transforms practices and the lives of patients by offering physical hands-on courses, extensive peer-to-peer regional learning, and comprehensive online educational tools. For more information, go to www.speareducation.com. About Avista Capital Partners Founded in 2005, Avista Capital is a leading New York-based private equity firm with over $8 billion invested in more than 40 growth-oriented healthcare businesses globally. Avista partners with businesses that feature strong management teams, stable cash flows and robust growth prospects – investing in the medical devices, pharmaceuticals, outsourced pharmaceutical services, healthcare technology, healthcare distribution and diagnostics, and consumer healthcare sectors. Avista's Strategic Executives and Advisors are an integral part of the team, providing strategic insight, operational oversight and senior counsel, which helps drive growth and performance, while fostering sustainable businesses and creating long-term value for all stakeholders.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

360training Acquires AdvanceOnline, Expanding its Online Training Footprint

360training | December 30, 2022

360training, one of the top online regulated training providers for environmental, health, and safety, has recently announced the acquisition of a web-based training solution provider, AdvanceOnline. With this acquisition, 360training expands their OSHA Online Outreach program and adds DOT transportation safety training programs, such as CMV Driver and CMV Motor Carrier Management, to their comprehensive library. AdvanceOnline provides excellent online training. They were among the first to be accepted for awarding official DOL OSHA course completion cards under the OSHA Outreach Program. AdvanceOnline, which has over 120 courses in its portfolio, is a welcome addition to the 360training family of organizations. AdvanceOnline offers outstanding e-Learning and video-based content to assist businesses in meeting federal health and safety laws, including OSHA Outreach titles such as OSHA 30-Hour Construction, OSHA 10-Hour construction, and OSHA 10-Hour General. They are one of the very few companies with OSHA authorization to deliver these courses, along with providing NYC (New York City) Site-Safety Training. 360training is committed to accelerated expansion in order to fulfill its goal of providing superior training solutions in regulated markets. Because the two companies have similar ambitions, the acquisition of AdvanceOnline fits with the mission. About 360training 360training.com, Inc. has been providing online regulatory-approved training to individuals and businesses since 1997, facilitating a secure, healthy environment for their communities. Over 11 million training plans have been provided through 360training, AgentCampus, Meditec, VanEd, OSHA.com, OSHAcampus, TIPS, and Learn2Serve. About AdvanceOnline AdvanceOnline Solutions, based in Houston, Texas, provides professional and educational environmental health and safety services to enterprises, institutions, and government agencies in the transportation, construction, manufacturing, utility, and energy industries. With over 75 years of combined experience in consulting, safety training development, and delivery, their team, creates high-quality, affordable web-based and classroom training for students and organizations to maintain and surpass compliance with government, company, and industry-defined safety standards and criteria.

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