Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, September 23, 2011

Taxpayers are Paying for Foreign Schools

The charter school movement was presented to the American people as a way to have more parental control of public school education. Charter schools are public schools financed by local taxpayers plus generous federal grants. But the people running charter schools are able to hire and fire teachers, administrators and staff and avoid control by education department bureaucrats. No doubt there are some good charter schools, but the loose controls have allowed another kind of school to emerge.
Charter schools have opened up a path for foreign intervention into U.S. public education. In Ohio, an NBC TV station discovered that Ohio taxpayers' money was used to recruit teachers from overseas, specifically from Turkey. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Turkish scientists, engineers and businessmen have opened 120 charter schools in 25 states, including several in Pennsylvania, funded with millions of taxpayer dollars. One called Truebright Academy received $3 million from the Philadelphia School District. The FBI and the federal Departments of Labor and Education are investigating whether hundreds of Turkish teachers and administrators, who were admitted to the U.S. by H-1B visas, are misusing taxpayer funds.

The New Orleans newspaper the Times-Picayune reported the investigation of charter schools in New Orleans and in Baton Rouge. Both are linked to schools and businesses run by people from Turkey. Many of these charter schools are in a network called the Gulen Movement led by an influential Turkish Islamic scholar. He now has a 27-state network of 122 charter schools operated by his followers. In Texas, these Turkish charter schools have received over $100 million in government funds.

Parents should look and see if you have a tax-funded charter school in your area that is run by the Turks.

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