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Home Topics in Depth Education Disturbing, dark world of visas for sale…and charter schools.

  • madfloridian (2111 posts)
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    Disturbing, dark world of visas for sale…and charter schools.

    It’s a bad combination.  For $500,000 a rich person can buy their way into the US, and part of it can be the understanding that they will form charter schools.

    I wonder if such a visa is connected to the charter schools run by Fethullah Gulen.


    The charter school network in the U.S. is part of the expanding global network of schools being operated by members of this group. Estimates place the total number of schools at over one thousand and operating in ~100 countries around the world. In other countries the schools are often locally referred to as “Turkish” schools and they are nearly all private. The charter school system in the U.S. is allowing the Gulen Movement’s schools to be publicly funded.
    Silence No More


    Thanks to a little discussed law passed in 2000 at the end of Bill Clinton’s presidency, Banks and Equity firms that invest in charter schools and other projects in underserved areas can take advantage of a very generous tax credit, as much as 39% to offset their expenditure in such projects. In essence, that credit amounts to doubling the amount of money they have invested in just 7 years.. Moreover, they are allowed to combine that tax credit with job creation credits and other types of credit, and collect interest payments on the money they are lending out-all which adds up to far more than double in returns.

    And it’s not just U.S. investors who see the upside of these investments. Rich donors throughout the world are now sending money to fund our charter schools. Why? Because if they invest at least $500,000 to charters under a federal program called EB-5, they’re allowed to purchase immigration visas for themselves and family members, yet another mechanism in place to ensure that the money keeps rolling in.
    More about these EB-5 Visas from Fortune Magazine.


    Immigration dominates the news today, and it’s just the latest crucial issue locked in a bitter Washington stalemate. The consequences have been dire. Whether it’s tens of thousands of impoverished children detained by border officials and clogging government facilities, or scientists and engineers highly coveted by technology companies who aren’t permitted to remain here, the U.S. is preventing countless foreigners from staying in this country.

    Increasingly, the skilled and the poor are out of luck. But the rich are another matter. The program (EB-5 is short-hand for the government’s fifth employment-based visa “preference”) allows well-heeled foreigners to leap to the front of the line by simply plunking down $500,000.
    The program is supposed to generate jobs where they are most needed.  But the unregulated nature does not always allow for that.

    But because the EB-5 industry is virtually unregulated, it has become a magnet for amateurs, pipe-dreamers, and charlatans, who see it as an easy way to score funding for ventures that banks would never touch. They’ve been encouraged and enabled by an array of dodgy middlemen, eager to cash in on the gold rush. Meanwhile, perhaps because wealthy foreigners are the main potential victims, U.S. authorities have seemed inattentive to abuses.
    Florida has been inundated with rich from China forming charter schools in the state.  Hard to find figures as they are secretive about it.  In this article from 2012 it seems that so far Chinese investors had invested in charter schools to the tune of 30 million.  By 2013 it was expected to be around 90 million.

    Problem is we are not allowed to know who they are or which schools are involved.


    Chinese investors are taking advantage of the EB-5 investment visa program, the so-called “green card via red carpet,” by putting millions into Florida’s charter schools and an aquaculture farm in Central Florida.

    Under the EB-5 program, through investments of at least $1 million — or $500,000 for “targeted employment areas” — foreign nationals are able to obtain legal residency in the US so long as the money they invest will help secure or create at least 10 full-time jobs.

    A group of Chinese investors have put $30 million into the state’s charter school program to date and are looking to invest three times that amount in the next year, Ilona Vega Jaramillo, director of international business development for Enterprise Florida, the state’s economic development arm, said in a US-China roundtable discussion last week.

    She would not name any of the investors, citing confidentiality.
    I wonder if those 10 full time jobs each must create will make up for the secrecy about who owns our schools, who is getting public money from public schools.

    This is one of the Clinton legacies to our school system.  If you hear Hillary say she supports public education, just remember she has preached charter schools for over 15 years, maybe longer.

    (Crossposting in General Discussion

    Grimaldi, jwirr, TheNutcracker and 12 othersFanBoy, Lynetta, Koko, EmmaG, AppaSpring, jopacaco, bbgrunt, Live and Learn, Cleita, Spanishprof27, glinda, DamnYankeeInHouston like this
    If a person is required to be loyal to a political party and not question their stands on issues, then any semblance of real truth is lost. https://twitter.com/madfloridian

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11 replies
  • grouchomarxist (240 posts)
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    1. at the risk of playing devil's advocate

    this seems like a very pragmatic way for an indebted government to ensure investment in our education infrastructure.  bill clinton did a lot of shitty things as president but he was at heart a very smart and, uh… pragmatic guy.

    as a product of both the hopelessly broken private and public school systems, i’m at a loss to make suggestions.  but i see some hope; the public college i attended had a nifty scholarship to encourage bright kids pursuing STEM degrees to enter the profession.  as the program was run and administered by former secondary school teachers it was predictably awful but i see it as raising the caliber of the teaching pool at last and maybe even changing their godawful culture.

    inb4 “teachers are professional hardworking dedicated public servants!!11” maybe in some parts of the country; not mine.

    • madfloridian (2111 posts)
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      3. Well, yes, it's very pragmatic to sell off your public schools instead……

      of supporting them and giving them resources.

      I happen to think it’s practicality is well overshadowed by the wisdom of it.

      For years now, and escalating in 2009 with Obama’s blessing…..private companies have been given the money and resources as they are taken from our public schools.   The charter schools advertising all their wonders for free…are right.  They are free because we are paying for them, we the taxpayers.  It’s not our choice, but it’s happening.

      I’ve heard it all since I’ve been writing about the hazards of turning over public money to private companies with no regulation or oversight.  I’ve heard about how bad schools are, the awful teachers, the lack of teaching…et cetera.

      Since Obama turned over our public schools to private companies, and Hillary is going to do the same….I guess the public will soon realize it’s really too late to do much about it.

      Soon there might come a time when charter schools send kids back to public schools for not scoring well enough on tests…..that they will be surprised to learn there is no public school there to take them.

      It’s been so obvious to me that the corporations who salivated at the profit to be made from education used testing and overtesting to close down public schools and steal their resources.

      I don’t even bother to argue anymore.  It was meant to set up a tiered system of education, where the rich folks get what rich folks always get….the best.  But they get it at the expense of the rest of us.



      If a person is required to be loyal to a political party and not question their stands on issues, then any semblance of real truth is lost. https://twitter.com/madfloridian
      • FanBoy (7983 posts)
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        4. tell it

      • grouchomarxist (240 posts)
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        8. i've experienced both sides of the coin and

        i think the public schools actually do a better job which is conspicuously counter to the RW propaganda.  my own parents don’t even believe me and i’ve told them over and over.  holy shit mom and dad i lived that.

        • Akallabeth (2234 posts)
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          11. Thats precisely why they want to get rid of them

          i think the public schools actually do a better job

          Another excuse Ive been given, this one is particularly infuriating..

          “they give the poor unrealistic expectations“.  This is expressed because jobs are going away, for good (true, unfortunately) and so, according to them, all poor people should reduce their expectations to fit with a world where there is going to be less and less work and less and less opportunity for them. Especially if they live here where people want ten or twenty times more to do the same job as somebody in Vietnam or Cambodia or Africa will do for much less.

          We are seeing a push to quietly enact and enforce a sort of stranglehold on public policy and a disinvestment in society in the form of international agreements which force disinvestment/privatization.

          Look up the emerging doctrine of competition policy.

          "Out of many, one"
    • FanBoy (7983 posts)
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      6. or maybe its you


      • grouchomarxist (240 posts)
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        9. i don't like the scapegoating of teachers either

        where i live now they have fairly strong teachers unions and i think the education is better for it; people take their jobs more seriously and have more resources to invest in them, although i expect the problem is at least somewhat cultural.  sadly this was not true where i grew up.

        my experience at public institutions has been mixed but at least you don’t have to deal with the outright sadists in the parochial system.

        video very much related.

  • Two way street (2836 posts)
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    2. Resettlement without vetting for citizenship. What is the real reason that the

    CIA has set up such a network of safehouses?

    Draft Bernie for a People's Movement against Fascism.
    • FanBoy (7983 posts)
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      5. so people like gulen and worse can get safe haven

      • Two way street (2836 posts)
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        7. Then bring in persons that fit their sleeper causes so that pseudo terror

        can be used as a militarism of local, state, federal and the globe during peacetime/perpetual war.

        Draft Bernie for a People's Movement against Fascism.
        • FanBoy (7983 posts)
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          10. or assassins to do their dirty work


          …On April 10, 2010, the Associated Press reported that a document discovered by the National Security Archive indicated that the State Department communique that was supposed to have gone out to the Chilean government warning against the assassinations had been blocked by then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.[24]