Gulen-affiliated charter schools are bad apples?
The Gulen-affiliated charter schools are finally getting the negative attention they deserve from law enforcement, the media and others. The Gulen-affiliated charter schools are the second largest charter chain in the United States, second only to the KIPP network of charter schools. If you want to understand depth, breadth and shocking nature of the alleged malfeasance against Gulen-affiliated charter schools, check out the film Killing Ed. According to the film, the Gulen-affiliated charter schools are some of the worst proverbial bad apples in the charter sector.
What is really disconcerting about charter schools is that they stick together like glue. They use their charter lobbying associations in California, Texas and elsewhere to fervently protect these bad apples regardless of alleged illegal activity.
This came today from the Arnold public relations firm.
Texas is not the only state where Gulen-affiliated charter schools are under investigation by state or federal agencies for misuse of public funds. In Texas, the Harmony Schools are part of the Gulen network. In other states, Gulen-affiliated schools go by different names. Here’s a quick summary of just some of the investigations that raise serious concerns about how these schools are spending taxpayer dollars. The patterns in each of these states, including Texas, are remarkably similar.
OHIO, ILLINOIS, AND INDIANA – FBI RAIDS CONCEPT SCHOOLS
- The FBI raided the headquarters of Concept Schools and 18 sites in three states in 2014 as part of an ongoing investigation into a “white-collar-crime matter” in which Concept Schools is accused of defrauding the federal government by violating competitive bidding rules related to a federally funded program for low-income students (E-RATE program).
- Court documents released in 2015 show that Concept is suspected of funneling over $5 million in federal funds to insider vendors through a rigged bidding process.
- The whistle-blower who provided documents to the FBI stated that Concept has routinely used taxpayer money to hire contractors who are involved in Gulen’s worldwide movement.
For more information:
NEW YORK – STATE COMPTROLLER FINDS INSIDER REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION
- The New York State Comptroller audited the Buffalo Academy of Science in 2013 and found that the School had leased a building from an unlikely company with little real estate experience.
- The company that leased the building to the school, Apple Educational Services, is a Turkish-run business with ties to other Turkish vendors and organizations.
- The audit included the following findings: The lease agreement would pay the owners $4.4 million more than their cost- a 200% return on investment – and benefited the owners more than the school.
The process used to select the lessor was not transparent and did not evaluate available options; the audit also questioned whether it was an “arm’s length transaction.”
For more information:
OKLAHOMA – AUDIT DOCUMENTS EXCESSIVE RENTAL PAYMENTS
- The Oklahoma State Auditor (2016) documented excessive rental payments made by the Dove Science Academies to its managing nonprofit organization, the Sky Foundation.
- The audit found that the Sky Foundation collected almost $3.2 million more in lease payments for rental of a school site than it paid to originally purchase the property.
- Essentially the schools were redirecting school funds to themselves since the Dove schools and the Sky Foundation are the same entity.
- The audit also found a $175,000 transfer of funds from Sky to Harmony Public School for a science competition – but no Oklahoma students even attended the event.
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CBS Nightly News is doing a 3 part series on Gulen and the Schools after the election, stay tuned.
I’ve been waiting to see any media at all based on looking into the charter industry’s ability to empower those who seek to make their fortune by taking advantage of our deregulated charter school laws. I found it not surprising but disappointing that with all of the larger press suggesting a possible connection of Gulen to the coup-attempt in Turkey, close to zero journalists brought up — probably didn’t even look into — his connection to making a grossly huge fortune here in the USA.