Implications of the PowerSchool SunGard K-12 acquisition

February 02, 2017

PowerSchool Acquires SunGard K-12; Unifies Administrative and Instructional Technologies to Improve the Education Experience

Acquisition to provide schools and districts with the essential infrastructure to manage every aspect of school operations

PowerSchool, the leading provider of K-12 education technology solutions, today announced it has completed its acquisition of SunGard K-12, a leading provider of school administrative software solutions. Through this acquisition, PowerSchool is able to provide significant value to the education community by combining cloud-based school finance, HR, and payroll solutions (ERP) with the student information system (SIS) and the Unified Classroom, a comprehensive, single platform accommodating all teaching and learning activities in the K-12 classroom.

Schools and districts continue to leverage technology to fuel their processes both inside and outside of the classroom. Inside of the classroom, school leaders are charged with implementing efficient technology solutions to manage student data, assessment, analytics, grading, instruction and learning, special education, and student behavior. Outside of the classroom, technologies are put in place to help school administrators manage student registration and enterprise resource planning for HR and finance functions including accounting, recruitment, procurement, and compliance.

Last year, PowerSchool announced its launch of the K-12 industry’s first unified classroom experience. This platform empowers teachers with one solution to improve instruction and personalized learning in the classroom with unified, full-featured capabilities for attendance, lesson plans, standard-based grading, digital content, assignments, behavior, assessments, and collaboration—essentially every component of achieving success inside of the classroom.

In a recent Converge article, John Halpin stated, “If school districts want to be effective, they must embrace the efficiencies that technology offers.” He’s referring to the enterprise resource planning process—a critical component to garnering success outside of the classroom. “District staff members are shouldering new burdens as a result of an increased focus on cost containment and reporting transparencies. They now have to report how changes improve student progress and control costs, whether they’re adopting new technology, teaching methodologies or evaluation systems. This is becoming the new normal, which means that districts need to be smarter about automating data access and integrating data into reporting processes.”

With this acquisition, PowerSchool will integrate SunGard K-12’s industry-leading ERP into PowerSchool’s SIS and Unified Classroom solution. This will enable school districts to experience greater efficiencies and savings in their business and HR operations. By adding further capabilities in accounting, payroll and benefits administration, procurement, employee management, compliance and professional development to PowerSchool’s already comprehensive offering, schools and districts have access to an end-to-end, unified platform that will drive efficiency and productivity across all aspects of the district spend.

The success of improving student growth, empowering educators, and streamlining school operations hinges on technology applications working seamlessly together. With this acquisition, PowerSchool is able to provide a comprehensive, unified suite of applications delivering holistic and real-time analytics to impact student performance, improve teacher effectiveness, provide insights into budgets, and optimize investments across all district initiatives.

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[Jim Thorpe]
[Jim Thorpe]