HERNDON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In the midst of protests across the country driven by the deaths of unarmed Black Americans George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others, K12 Inc. (NYSE: LRN)—the nation’s leading provider of online and blended education—is committing to a series of initiatives that support racial and socioeconomic equity and inclusion in and through education.
Since its inception twenty years ago, K12 has been committed to removing barriers that impact academic equity and to providing high-quality education for anyone—particularly those in underserved communities—as a means to foster economic empowerment and address societal inequities through college and career readiness. The company’s new pledge and continued support of racial equality and justice are consistent with this commitment.
“At K12, we support eliminating racism, prejudice, and violence in all forms and against all groups,” said Nate Davis, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors. “As a community of educators, we believe that Black lives matter, and that K12 teachers, administrators, and management must serve as role models for children, parents, and families. Only through sustained actions can we strive to create real change. It’s my hope that our continued efforts to bridge the differences that divide our communities will help build a better, stronger, more inclusive nation.”
The company announced today it is making a commitment to do the following:
Invest at least $10 million in new scholarships for Black students to attend K12-powered private schools, which includes three private K-12 institutions and the award-winning Galvanize programs in data science and software engineering.
- This commitment will produce at least 100 Black software engineers and data scientists and help thousands of high school students gain the necessary skills to enter high-paying jobs in Information Technology and health care.
- These scholarships will also support underrepresented students planning to enroll in colleges and universities across the country.
These scholarships are in addition to the student and teacher scholarships already funded through the independent foundation K12 established in 2016, known today as Future of School.
- Build a career readiness scholarship for Black students that includes access to virtual career exploration, mentorship opportunities, resume building, professional development workshops, and enrollment in Tallo—the nation’s premier online platform for connecting students with employers, colleges, and universities.
Expand upon the legal and law enforcement career pathway at K12-powered Destinations Career Academies, which promote economic inclusion in underserved areas of the country and provide the academic and professional skills students need to thrive in high-demand career fields.
This pathway will grow in partnership with law enforcement agencies and civil rights groups with the goal of building a more diverse, socially-conscious, and community-supportive law enforcement workforce.
- This pathway will grow in partnership with law enforcement agencies and civil rights groups with the goal of building a more diverse, socially-conscious, and community-supportive law enforcement workforce.
Partner with other institutions to design interactive K-12 courses on the history of systemic racism to be made available for free to every public school in the U.S. that explain the history and legacy of slavery, segregation, and Jim Crow and their impact on Black people of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
- These courses will highlight community and civic changemakers and movements from Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter, to inspire the next generation of leaders and allies.
- The courses will seek to foster a conversation about the reforms we can all support—based on past and current events—to enact change.
This content will be offered free-of-charge to schools across the country, and to other institutions including Historically Black Colleges and Universities and scholars who are interested in developing similar courses.
Sponsor and convene a national forum to promote dialogue and examine ways to enhance and provide access to high-quality educational opportunities for students and families lacking such options in their communities.
- This initiative will bring together national thought leaders in education and proponents of change from corporate and academic circles to create concrete strategies for improving racial equity in education.
These strategies will subsequently be presented to state and federal lawmakers, state boards of education, and the U.S. Department of Education.
Expand the number of Black teachers, particularly male teachers, employed by K12, through improved recruiting, training, and retention strategies.
The company will seek to establish new partnerships with HBCUs and expand existing partnerships to grow the pipeline of Black teachers for schools and universities across the nation. Research shows that Black students who have at least one Black teacher in elementary school are less likely to drop out of school and more likely to go on to college than Black students who do not have Black teachers.
- The company will seek to establish new partnerships with HBCUs and expand existing partnerships to grow the pipeline of Black teachers for schools and universities across the nation. Research shows that Black students who have at least one Black teacher in elementary school are less likely to drop out of school and more likely to go on to college than Black students who do not have Black teachers.
- Promote K12 employee volunteer efforts through the company’s K12 Cares program and provide paid-time-off and other incentives to encourage employee participation in initiatives that support diversity and inclusion in their communities.
In addition to these commitments, K12 will continue to increase its existing diversity and inclusion efforts across every aspect of the organization, including supporting Black and minority-owned businesses; partnering with organizations to launch voter registration drives for K12 employees, K12-powered high school students, and Galvanize community members; expanding legislative reform efforts that combat racism; and improving its recruiting, training, and retention strategies in instructional, leadership, administrative, and corporate roles.
“K12 has a strong history of bridging gaps in access to education, and in helping to provide school choice for underserved communities,” Davis said. “We are committed to leveraging our experience and our expertise to make a difference. We have a history of making education options available to all groups and our focus on the Black community is another step in what we’ve always done. Only through economic power, education equity, health care equality, and fair laws and policies can there truly be equity for Black Americans.”
For more information on the company’s pledge to end racism and discrimination, please visit our website.
K12 Inc. (NYSE: LRN) helps students of all ages reach their full potential through inspired teaching and personalized learning. The company provides innovative, high-quality online and blended education solutions, curriculum, and programs to students, schools, and enterprises in primary, secondary, and post-secondary settings. K12 is a premier provider of career readiness education services and a leader in skills training, technology staffing, and talent development. The company provides programs which combine traditional high school academics with career technical education through its Destinations Career Academies. Adult learning is delivered through K12’s subsidiary, Galvanize, a leader in developing capabilities for individuals and corporations in technical fields such as software engineering and data science. K12 has delivered millions of courses over the past decade and serves students in all 50 states and more than 100 countries. The company is a proud sponsor of Future of School, a nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the gap between the pace of technology in daily life and the pace of change in education. More information can be found at K12.com, destinationsacademy.com, jobshadowweek.com, and galvanize.com.