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Profiles of For-Profit Educational Management Organizations: 2008-2009

Education management organizations, or EMOs, emerged in the early 1990s in the context of widespread interest in so-called market-based school reform proposals. Wall Street analysts coined the term EMO as an analogue to health maintenance organizations (HMOs). Proponents of EMOs claim that they bring a much needed dose of entrepreneurial spirit and a competitive ethos to public education. Opponents argue that outsourcing to EMOs results in already limited school resources being redirected for service fees, profits, or both while creating another layer of administration. Opponents also have expressed concerns about the implications of public bodies relinquishing control or ownership of schools. Profiles reports are comprehensive digests of data on education management organizations. Analysis and interpretation of the data in this report are, for the most part, limited to describing general trends over time. The report is intended for a broad audience. Policymakers, educators, school district officials, and school board members may use this information to learn more about current or potential contractors. Investors, persons involved in the education industry, and employees of EMOs may find it useful in tracking changes, strategizing for growth, and planning investments. Journalists and researchers who study and seek to learn more about education management organizations may also find much here to interest them.