Taking the concept of a school fund-raiser to a higher level, Whittle Communications is after Paramount Communications, the Walt Disney Co. and other corporations to back its ambitious proposal for a chain of private schools.

Estimates on the amount Whittle seeks range from $ 750 million to $ 3 billion. The companies wouldn’t comment, but several executives who’ve heard the Edison Project pitch said they remain skeptical, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Time Warner holds a 37.5% stake in Whittle, a media company based in Knoxville, Tenn. Philips Electronics NV owns 25%.

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