PreK-12 Instructional Materials Industry Makes Post-COVID-19 Gains, Projected to Grow to $10 Billion in 2022

Press Release
Nov 2, 2022

News Release


Please direct all media inquiries to:

Corinne Gangloff


PreK-12 Instructional Materials Industry Makes Post-COVID-19 Gains, Projected to Grow to $10 Billion in 2022

Rockville, Md.- November 2, 2022

The PreK-12 instructional materials industry generated $9.3 billion in sales in 2021, up from 7.8% from an estimated $8.7 billion in 2020. Several key forces are driving growth: higher enrollment, increased usage of digital and supplemental materials and higher prices during a period of high inflation. Another key factor has been schools ability to continue to draw on federal ESSER funds, created to help remedy learning loss. Simba forecasts that the instructional materials market will reach $10 billion during 2022.

These are a few of the many findings announced by Simba information with its release of Publishing for the PreK-12 Market 2022-2023 report, a comprehensive review of the size, segments, trends, and forces impacting the educational publishing sector for the PreK-12 segment. Sales for instructional materials are segmented into 8 categories – basal curriculum, courseware, digital supplements, state-level tests, manipulatives, trade books, video, and classroom magazine – with market size data for 2019-2021 and projections for each segment for 2022-2025.

Simba’s researchers also found that basal curriculum sales, the largest category in the sector was $2.6 billion, up from $2.5 billion in 2020. Basal curriculum’s share of the overall market is expected to decline over time, however, as spending for digital and supplemental materials increases.

Publishing for the PreK-12 Market 2022-2023 also identifies and analyzes a wide range of trends impacting the market. Among these are the ongoing increase in the use of digital: virtual schools, digital instructional tools and digital materials. Digital surged during the pandemic but has found ongoing value among educators in the current more post-COVID-19 learning environment. Other key forces impacting the industry include a greater focus on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) instruction and increased use of supplementary materials.

The report also examines state tests, and examines how while much state testing was suspended in 2020, it has started up again but now in a more modified and limited manner. For example, there is increased interest and activity in trying out new modes of testing that may be less stressful and more appropriate that integrate what is called “balanced assessment.” Under that umbrella there has been special interest specifically in the “through-year” testing model.

The report also provides a competitive analysis of the major players in this segment, tracking and listing major M&A deals for 2021 and the first half of 2022, and identifying the key themes that dominated the landscape. Leading public and private companies are profiled as well, which, for the public companies and private where available, identifies their latest strategic direction and financials.

Key companies are also profiled in the report: Cambium Learning, Cengage, Discovery Education, Goodheart-Willcox, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Kahoot!, McGraw Hill, Pearson, Renaissance Learning, Savvas Learning, Scholastic, and Stride.

Other trends, factors and market and industry forces examined in the report include a breakdown of various types of instructional materials; industry dynamics in a post-COVID-19 learning environment; trends in subject areas such as science, reading, SEL, and online tutoring, and heightened interest in teaching media and financial literacy.

Cautions and hurdles facing those in this market are also explored, including teacher shortages, cybersecurity, school safety, macroeconomic trends, and challenges to classroom instructional content by parental and political groups.

Also covered in the report is student enrollment data, including by type of school and other educational segments, federal and state funding for schools to address learning loss, and selected states’ adoption materials calendars through 2025.

The report also provides an outlook for what to look for in the PreK-12 instructional materials market moving forward as well, examining the future of digital, curricula, subject area trends, testing, and more. 

About Simba Information

Simba Information is widely recognized as the authority for market intelligence in the media and publishing industries. Its extensive information network delivers top quality, independent perspectives on the people, events and alliances shaping the industry. Simba routinely assists clients and the press with publishing and media industry analysis. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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