From Textbooks to Virtual School: How the K-12 Instructional Materials Industry Coped with COVID-19

Press Release
Aug 3, 2021

Rockville MD, August 3, 2021 – The COVID-19 pandemic impacted almost every aspect of the delivery of education in the U.S. How companies that provide instructional resources are responding to the changing needs of K-12 schools is defining how those businesses are progressing into a new more digital future.

The industry response to that changing need is the focus of Simba Information’s newly published report PreK-12 Instructional Materials Industry Competitive Analysis 2021.

The report examines how providers of instructional materials for schools are faring in light of the impacts of the pandemic.

Initially in spring 2020, when schools closed, business communication between companies and schools shut down as well. Both the schools and the providers of instructional materials, tools and other resources pivoted.

Initially, demand for online products and services increased sharply. Ed tech companies had an edge in seizing the opportunity, but even traditional publishers were able to capitalize and expand their digital products and services.

As the industry moved back to offering paid resources and services from the initial offering of free resources for schools and parents, school demand did not slack.

“Throughout 2020 and well into 2021 companies were seeing demand for online products and services increase sharply,” said Kathy Mickey, managing editor of the Education Group at Simba Information.

Yes, revenue was down in 2020, but operating costs were, too. Collectively, the 10 representative companies highlighted in the report had a 4.9% decline in revenue in 2020 but a 4% increase in operating income.

PreK-12 Instructional Materials Industry Competitive Analysis, 2021 from Simba Information highlights initiatives taken by the industry in response to the pandemic’s effects on schools, the impact on public company stocks and on mergers and acquisition activity in the industry. The report includes brief strategic profiles of 12 leading providers of K-12 instructional resources.

To learn more visit or call 888-29-SIMBA.

About Simba Information

Simba Information is widely recognized as the leading authority for market intelligence in the media and publishing industry. Simba's extensive information network delivers top quality, independent perspective on the people, events and alliances shaping the media and information industry. Simba publishes newsletters and research reports that provide key decision-makers at more than 15,000 client companies around the globe with timely news, analysis, exclusive statistics and proprietary industry forecasts. For more information, please visit  


Kathy Mickey

Senior Analyst, Education Group

Simba Information



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