November 16, 2012 Radio Commentary

Foreign Investors LOVE Charter Schools

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, November 16, 2012 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Good morning, Jim.  The Obama administration found a quick way to promote
charter schools last year when they waived No Child Left Behind test
requirements.  In September 2011, Obama and Education Secretary Duncan said
states could skip the 2014 tests, IF they adopt changes to expand charter
schools.  States that refuse would be penalized if test scores are too low.
Their schools could be shut down, half their teachers fired and their principal
replaced.  That “carrot and stick” routine, actually, was an unconstitutional
rewriting of the law with no input from Congress, which is the only branch of
federal government authorized to pass laws.

Four months before the carrot-and-stick offer, the Green Card Fund hosted a
group of overseas investors from China to tour Arizona and visit the Odyssey
Preparatory Academy charter school in Buckeye, Arizona, which they visited
during school hours to interact with teachers, students, administrators,
principals and school co-founders.  Then, the Green Card Fund wined and dined
the entire group for dinner at an Arizona Resort.Since charter schools have become BIG business, Education Fund of America used
its extensive investment and success in public charter school building to become
the first EB-5 project center focusing solely on charter schools as safe, secure
and predictable investments.  A major sales pitch is that state governments pay
for the schools.  That makes charter schools economically viable upon opening
and the EB-5 job-creation requirement is met, instantly.

EB-5’s permanent residency means newcomers need homes.  In 2007, five-percent of
U.S. homes were sold to Chinese buyers; in 2011 it was nine-percent, no doubt
fed by EB-5 investors.  On October 4th reported that Chinese
investors had put $30 million in the state’s charter schools program and plan to
invest another $90 million during the next year.  The Chinese aquaculture farm,
which will grow Pacific white shrimp and sea asparagus, is set for
ground-breaking in Central Florida in January.  In addition to Florida, other
favorite destinations for Chinese investors are Texas, California and Arizona.

The Chinese and other internationals are taking advantage of the EB-5 visa
program, which encourages wealthy foreigners to BUY U.S. visas for themselves
and their families with a $500,000 investment in targeted, real estate
developments that now include charter schools.  Not only is our country being
sold to foreign nationals, foreign investors are funding public education, as
well!  Is that all right with you?  For Georgia Insight I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler,
your Capitol correspondent.