PLATO Learning, a leading provider of computer-based learning solutions for all students from kindergarten through adulthood, announced plans to merge with educational software provider Lightspan Inc. in an all-stock deal. The agreement, announced Sept. 9, is subject to the approval of shareholders from both companies.

Assuming it is approved, the deal would create a combined company with a significant presence in elementary education. PLATO Learning already claims to be the leading provider of educational software to high schools, and its addition of Lightspan and the company's elementary reading products will allow PLATO to challenge Pearson

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