Sylvan wins Calif. deal worth $5.4 million Math, reading for Compton district


January 22, 1998|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF

Baltimore-based Sylvan Learning Systems Inc. was awarded a $5.4 million contract yesterday to provide a California school district with supplemental teaching services.

The Compton Unified School District, in Los Angeles County, hired Sylvan to provide math and reading instruction to 1,200 students at eight elementary and middle schools.

The award marks Sylvan's first major entry into the California public school system, and the company hopes the contract will lead to additional work.

Douglas L. Becker, Sylvan's co-chief executive officer, said that other school districts in California will have an eye on its operations in Compton and success there "will lead to expansion of our services to additional California districts."

California leads the nation in its spending on elementary to high school public education. It serves 5.5 million students and spends more than $29 billion annually.

"We are committed to substantially raising our students' academic performance," said Randolph E. Ward, administrator of the Compton school district.

He said that based on results Sylvan has achieved among other students with similar needs, "we believe that the program is an excellent resource to help us reach our goals."

Under terms of the Compton agreement, Sylvan will build learning centers in each of the schools and provide the instructors. The program is to help low-performing students increase their reading and math skills.

Students, selected by the schools, meet in small groups -- sometimes one-on-one -- with the instructors in one-hour sessions twice a week.

Sylvan guarantees that the students will reach a certain level of academic achievement at the end of the school year or it provides additional instruction at no charge.

Pub Date: 1/22/98

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