A 2012 article in The Washington Post reveals that the Chesapeake Science Point Public Charter School in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, has sparked concerns among school board officials for opaque operations and mismanagement. The Gülen-affiliated school disproportionately hires Turkish nationals and has obscure bidding and procurement processes:
Today, the Anne Arundel County Board of Education is considering renewing the school’s charter for five more years. Superintendent Kevin Maxwell has recommended a charter extention despite the big problems he wants fixed at the school, which opened seven years with a middle school and is building a high school by expanding a grade a year.
Maxwell wants the school, among other things, to hire qualified and fully certified teachers, reform the board of directors “to reflect the community it serves,” use appropriate procurement and bidding processes for outside contracts, follow board policy for the hiring of foreign nationals, and agree not to allow any of its contractors or subcontractors to “knowingly employ” anybody who has been investigated for criminal activity. The high school, whic is adding 11th grade in the fall, is on probation for the next two years.
Many of the issues Maxwell raised have been cited by authorities elsewhere about other charter schools in the network said to consist of about 135 charter schools in some 25 states run by followers of a reclusive Turkish cleric named Fethullah Gulen. There are also Gulen-affiliated schools in dozens of other countries.
The FBI and the Departments of Labor and Education have been investigating whether some employees at some of these schools are “kicking back part of their salaries” to the Gulen Movement, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported in this story. The New York Times and CBS News as well as PBS have reported on the Gulen charter network in the last year, citing problems such as whether these schools give special preference to Turkish companies when handing out contracts.