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Who said taking over failing public schools was a pursuit for profiteers? New York-based Edison Schools Inc. may have just been awarded the management of failing public schools in Philadelphia, but the company's stock is taking a beating, falling from $12.79 in mid-April down to $5.13 a share on the Nasdaq. That's down from a high of $28 last June. The sell-off followed a bearish report from Merrill Lynch; analysts expected Edison to capture a larger share of the 70 elementary and middle schools considered for private management in Philadelphia. Protests by education union lobbyists sliced that number to 45.
The stock slide also reflects problems in a few Edison locations. A local teachers union cut off talks to open nine charter schools in Miami; school officials in York, Pa., and Macon, Ga., proposed ending their contracts with the school-takeover firm. Edison has never turned a profit.