Edison Schools, that purported alternative to government-run education, has just been bailed out by the government. Josh Marshall has the details:
…in the last year Edison has bumbled along from failure to failure and the stock has spent most of the year trading a bit over a buck a share.
Things looked awfully bad until last week when Florida's state employee pension fund announced it was buying up all of Edison's stock and taking the company private—for a cool $174 million. That's got to be the shrewdest investment the fund has made since it bought millions of shares of Enron just as the company entered its death spiral—including 1.3 million shares just two weeks before the company declared bankruptcy….
The three member board of trustees of the fund is chaired by Florida Governor Jeb Bush, a big supporter of privatized schools and a big supporter of Edison.
So, you start a company to privatize education and take on the teachers unions. Your company fails miserably both in terms of the market and academic success. Then after you've hollowed the company out to cover your other bad debts friendly pols come along to bail you out with a couple hundred million from the teachers' (and other public employees') pension fund. I love symmetry.