Shareholders or Students? News about K12 Inc.

Another fiscal year has come and gone for K12, Inc., the company that manages our school. The company ended 2015 reporting revenues of $948 million and operating income of $18.4 million. This week, K12 announced its plans to host a conference call at the end of October to discuss its first quarter fiscal year 2016 financials and to elaborate on some slightly lower projected figures affecting the bottom line than it saw last year. Shareholders, potential investors, and market analysts across the country have all set reminders on their calendars to jump on this call. You can jump on the call too, if you go here.Shareholders or Students

There is no shortage of chatter about the long-term viability of K12 as a solid investment. In its 2015 annual report to shareholders, Chairman and CEO Nathaniel Davis describes the key to K12’s success as being a commitment to remaining a leader in online education by executing “a strategy of investing in (its) people, programs and products.” Davis describes just how important investing in its people really is, saying that teachers are “core to K12’s mission” and “one of our greatest assets.” The Chairman of the Board goes on to talk about the company’s multi-year program to improve hiring, compensation, professional development and other critical issues for teachers. He talks about giving teachers a stronger voice and assuring that they are involved in important decisions at K12.

We like these assurances of K12’s commitment to teachers. However we can’t help but notice that it doesn’t feel that way on the ground here in California at CAVA. In fact, it’s interesting the degree to which CAVA and K12 have fought against our efforts to have a voice by unionizing and through the collective bargaining process.   We all know it is important for teachers have a voice so we can better advocate for what our students need.

We believe administration’s opposition is explained in K12 Inc.’s message to shareholders in its public filings (also included in its annual report linked above) which includes an ominous little warning about the dangers of unionization. Essentially, they warn the company might make less money and have less “management flexibility” if teachers unionize. That wouldn’t please shareholders, and this pits our rights against the interests of investors. And, while shareholders wait with bated breath to hear the latest details of the health of their investment, we remain steadfast in calling for a real voice at CAVA. Working together through the collective bargaining process is the best option for making improvements for our colleagues, our students, and the long-term strength of the company. Nothing less will do, and that’s the bottom line.

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