Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tax money pays for visa expenses at Gulen charter schools

America belongs to immigrants. Who would argue this? (Probably, immigrants who arrived earlier and, of course, Native Americans. J)

We will not discuss US immigration policies here, however, for the sake of the argument; we can say that her most welcoming laws and policies are based this very fact. Founding fathers knew this and they embedded it into the law.

In this day and age, the world has become a global village with billions traveling around; trillions of dollars are invested in and out of countries. Governmental expenses and investments probably form a significant portion of the global trade. As such, taxes we pay each year are spent and invested domestically as well as internationally, and travel the world million times.

The reason we mention all this is that anti-charter bloggers complain about visa expenses Gulen charter schools make because it is their tax money.

You can argue their claim from many aspects. One would be, as long as state auditors audit schools annually and approve expenditures, tax money belongs to schools. You cannot argue then how schools allocate their funding. This fact gives them the goosebumps the most.

However, the most important aspect they are having trouble with is that if everybody on Earth would request their tax money to be spent as they wishes and not for the others, we would not have any government at all (a Tea Party dream! J).

Here is an example...

The Government of Turkey initiated a project to increase the number of universities across the country within the following fifteen to twenty years in early 1990s. To fill the faculty positions these future universities would need, the Government borrowed interest-bearing millions of dollars from the World Bank to sponsor thousands of Turkish nationals to pursue Master’s and Doctorate degrees at prestigious universities around the world. This was a big investment for the future of Turkey and these days we see the results of this grand project: the number of universities has been quadrupled and most of the positions have been filled by mainly US-educated professors.

The cost of this project to Turkish tax payers: billions of dollars and majority of it was paid to US institutions. Thousands of graduate students have attended US colleges and universities and their tuition, living expenses and health insurance have been paid by the Government. Each graduate receives a montly allowance of $1,200. It takes 5-7 years to finish a Ph.D. You do the math. In average, $85,000 is paid for living expenses only. The project still continues!

Should Turkish taxpayers complain about their Government’s payments to US institutions? Especially, because the receipient is a foreigner?

The first thing that comes to your mind is what? “Well, this is a trade. You pay and get a quality education back.” Exactly!

This is what American parents receive from Gulen charter schools: Quality education. And, it is in their proposal that their model involves foreign experience. They bring, adopt, alter foreign curriculum, methods, culture, and blend them altogether with local experience. That’s why parents at these schools are attracted and put their names on waiting lists.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I haven't thought it in this way. You got the point from an interesting angle. Very nice and well argued.


Please let me know what you think about Mr. Gulen and the schools labelled as Gulen charters.