Gülen charter schools in US lawmakers' crosshairs
From online dispatches
The U.S. state of Tennessee has passed a new law limiting the number of foreign teachers at charter schools in an apparent reaction to educational institutions linked to Gülen Community led by Turkish religious leader Fethullah Gülen, daily Milliyet reported today.
A nongovernmental organization called for the law after one of its members, Phyllis Schlafly, wrote an article drawing attention to the "increasing influence of powerful Islamist Turkish schools with hidden agendas in the U.S."
The law decreases the percentage of foreign teachers that can be employed in a charter school from 10 percent to 3.5 percent. Turkish teachers working in Gülen schools had previously attracted the attention of the American press due to problems with their visas.
The activities at “Harmony Schools” in Texas had raised questions about whether the schools were using U.S. taxpayer dollars for the benefit of the Fethullah Gülen religious movement, the New York Times reported in June 2011.
The report highlighted a particularly suspicious case in which TDM Contracting, a one-month-old company, won its first job to build the Harmony School of Innovation, a publicly financed charter school that opened last fall in San Antonio, for $8.2 million.