Charter Schools Tied to Turkey Grow in Texas

Tuesday, 07 Jun 2011 09:14 AM

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Operating under the name Harmony Schools, Cosmos Foundation -- a charter school operator founded a decade ago by a group of professors and businessmen from Turkey -- has moved quickly to become the largest charter school operator in Texas, with 33 schools receiving more than $100 million a year in taxpayer funds, according to a report by The New York Times.

The group is the leading edge of a network of businesses and organizations run by Turkish immigrants. The businesses include vendors selling school lunches, uniforms, after-school programs, Web design, teacher training and special education assessments.

turkish schools texasAccording to the Times report, some of the schools’ operators and founders are adherents of Fethullah Gulen, a charismatic Turkish preacher of Islam whose followers have built a worldwide religious, social and nationalistic movement.

Gulen followers have been involved in starting about 120 similar schools around the country — mostly in urban centers.


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