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Schoolwires has raised $12 million in venture funding for its business of managing web sites for schools.

The State College, Penn.-based company provides web-based infrastructure to help schools provide online services. It gives kids a way to manage their homework online and has other features for managing the parent-teacher-student relationship via the web. Among the goals are ensuring student safety, including parents in education, and managing budget shortfalls.

The company’s core product is Centricity, a platform for web-based content, communication and collaboration that enables administrators, teachers, families and students stay connected. There are a variety of other web-based services as well. The company has more than 4,000 schools as customers and it serves 4 million students, parents and administrators.

Schoolwires is one of a number of education-related companies that have received funding in the past few years. Among its brethren are companies such as Education.com, which has received funding from VCs such as Azure Capital and California Technology Ventures.

Kennet Partners
led the first institutional round. Eric Filipek, a principal at Kennet, has joined the Schoolwires board. The company competes with rivals such as the start-ups Schoolcenter and eChalk. Bigger rivals include Pearson and Scholastic. Previously, Schoolwires raised less than $5 million from management and angels. It has 80 employees.

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