Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Gulen charter school network: Overseas Junkets And Charter Schools – Part Two

Politicians, Overseas Junkets And Charter Schools – Part Two:

Politicians, Overseas Junkets And Charter Schools – Part Two

Readers of Friday’s edition of USA Today found out about an issue thatPlunderbund readers have known about for some time.  It’s nice to know that more folks are now in the loop.
The story,   “Turkish Faith Movement Secretly Funded 200 Trips for Lawmakers and Staff,” details the efforts of the Gulen Movement to provide Members of Congress and their staffs with free trips to Turkey that are of questionable legality, based upon U.S. House Ethics Committee rules.  The term Gulen Movement  describes a number of organizations that follow the teachings of Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic cleric and Turkish exile who lives in relative seclusion in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.
An examination of the USA Today article offers some interesting tidbits of information. In addition to the “secretly funded” trips in the headline, readers were told about “$800,000 in free travel for lawmakers,” “the movement’s … funding hundreds of Islamic schools, and think tanks and media outlets,” and that at least one Gulenist organization “provided gifts in the form of impermissible travel expenses to congressional travelers in violation of House rules and regulations.”
If all of this wasn’t enough, there is this:
“The movement has founded hundreds of charter schools across the United States  and across the world, has its own media organizations, and was deeply entrenched with the Turkish regime until a falling out two years ago. That led President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare Gulen was running “a parallel state” inside the country with the intent of undermining the government.”
Whether or not Fethullah Gulen is indeed running a parallel government in his native land, there seems to be no question that he and his followers are establishing a “parallel” system of “public” charter schools in the United States, with one source listing 139 schools in operation in 2014.  Among these charter schools are 19 in Ohio that are administered under the Horizon and Noble Academy brands.
While the extent of the Gulen charter school network is relatively well-known, the USA Today article does shed more light on the proclivity of such allied groups to influence federal public policy by inviting so many lawmakers to Politicians, Overseas Junkets And Charter Schools – Part Two: