There are two types of for-profit schools. The first kind is a school that operates as a business and attempts to make a profit from its educational operation. The school receives a fee for each student it enrolls. The second kind is an educational management organization (EMO) that contracts with school districts and charter schools to operate public schools. The most important difference between the two types of for-profit schools is that EMOs usually manage schools receiving public funds. Most for-profit schools function as EMOs.
|For further discussion of for-profit schools, see the following NCSPE articles:|
|Occasional Paper 14: Levin, Henry M. 2001. “Thoughts on For-Profit Schools.” http://www.ncspe.org/publications_files/7_OP14.pdf|
|Occasional Paper 22: Fitz, John and Brian Beers. 2001. “Educational Management Organizations and the Privatization of Public Education: A Cross-National
Comparison of the USA and the UK.”
|Occasional Paper 47: Levin, Henry M. 2002. “The Potential of For-Profit Schools for Education Reform.” http://www.ncspe.org/publications_files/179_OP47.pdf|
Why are for-profit schools controversial?
For-profit schools seek to use the principles and practices of business to improve schools. Therefore, the main concern of management is realizing profits and promoting growth. Proponents of for-profit schools claim business models will benefit students, because financial success depends on providing a quality education. Schools must improve if they are to compete for students. Opponents fear for-profit schools will make students a secondary concern and eliminate beneficial programs that are too expensive or take short-cuts to enhance profitability. The potential advantages and disadvantages of for-profit schools are listed below.
Reprinted with the permission of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education.
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