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K12 Becoming Stride, Diversifies with Second Bootcamp Purchase

K12, which will soon be officially known as "Stride," recently said it was acquiring bootcamp Tech Elevator for $23.5 million. This is the second bootcamp acquisition made by a company whose traditional business has focused on running online K-12 schools. In January K12 purchased Galvanize for $165 million.

Company officials explained that while Galvanize bootcamps enroll advanced beginners in software engineering and data science bootcamps, Tech Elevator expands the market by taking students with no coding experience. Whereas Galvanize has a presence in 10 cities, Tech Elevator has schools in eight cities. Both also run online programs.

On the same day that K12 announced the Tech Elevator news, it also said it would also be buying MedCerts, a company focused on healthcare industry workforce development and education.

The move away from K-12 education exclusively comes at a time when every school in the country has struggled to develop online programming for instruction. While some stock watchers predicted that K12 would see a boom in business with the pandemic, the opposite occurred. In September, longtime K-12 customer Miami-Dade School Board voted to stop using the platform, following technical snafus. The company's stock fell from a high of $51.60 per share in August to its current price of about $22.

Last week, K12's fortunes took another hit when it announced that it had been a victim of ransomware. According to company officials, the attacker accessed "certain parts" of its "back-office systems, including some student and employee information." The investigation continues, but in the meantime, K12 said it would pay the ransomware, "as a proactive and preventive step to ensure that the information obtained by the attacker from our systems will not be released on the Internet or otherwise disclosed. on those systems."

K12 announced its name change in November, explaining that "a great education doesn't stop at high school graduation." In a statement, CEO Nathaniel Davis explained that "the Stride brand recognizes that, as a company, we are no longer limited by the boundaries of the K-12 market, and that we are dedicated to supporting lifelong learning and providing personalized, high-quality education in important career pathways that launch good paying careers." That name change takes effect on Dec. 16, 2020.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.