It is widely known that the +174 charter schools linked to the controversial Pennsylvania-based cleric Fethullah Gülen are known for regularly immigrating their teachers from Turkey on taxpayer dollars, but many may not be aware that at certain periods they brought over even more workers than Google.
There is nothing wrong with foreign workers coming to the United States to fill positions that are unable to be filled by local job seekers, but herein lies the problem – according to our investigations and testimony from whistleblowers, many of the H-1B visa recipients occupy non-essential roles in these schools – not teaching mathematics but instead taking jobs as gym teachers, administrators, accountants, IT personnel, and even construction. Lawyer Robert Amsterdam writes on this issue in the Daily Caller, highlighting the systemic abuse of the H-1B program by the Gülen schools:
The abuse is widespread. At 59 Gülen-linked schools in the Western and Midwestern regions, 2,210 H-1B visa applications have been tallied since 2001, costing taxpayers up to $8.7 million. In Ohio alone, the Concept schools network filed 657 H-1B applications from 2001-2016, while Concept itself filed 176 H-1B applications during the same time period – during this same period state auditors found that $27.3 million of charter school funds were misspent.
Investigations have found some disturbing practices among these schools, with separate practices and protocols for their Turkish teachers. Whistleblowers have informed us that these teachers are evaluated not on the basis of their teaching skills, but on their ability to recruit new members to the movement – one school even established a points system for proselytizing promising students into extra-curricular activities with related organizations. (…)
The H-1B visa program plays an important role in filling the gaps in the U.S. skilled worker program, but it should not become a cost-saving loophole or an opportunity for a foreign organization to exploit. The reforms being considered by the Trump administration are very important, and authorities should examine how Gülen charter schools have secured approvals for so many H-1B “highly skilled” worker visas over the last few years.