Officials in the U.S. state of Alabama voted to consider withdrawing the right to operate a public charter school which a Texas-based member of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) wants to open.
The Alabama Public Charter School Commission denied a request for a deadline extension to obtain the necessary certificate of occupancy for the school by Woodland Prep officials in a vote Monday, local website AL.com reported.
"Today's vote by the Alabama Public Charter School Commission denied a request by Woodland Prep officials to extend the deadline to obtain a certificate of occupancy for the school. That denial opened the door for the Commission to begin revocation procedures," said the site.
Woodland Prep in Washington County, near the city of Mobile, has been the subject of fierce public opposition since the state approved its charter in May 2018, despite major shortcomings and a lack of educational standards and credentials.
Locals oppose charter school project
In August, the Alabama Education Association (AEA) filed a lawsuit against the controversial school, citing strong public opposition.
The lawsuit claimed that Soner Tarım "engaged in fraudulent conduct to conceal the extent of his involvement with the nonprofit organization that is allegedly behind the creation of Woodland Prep, a charter school located in Washington County."
Tarım, one of the key figures running FETÖ's charter school network in the U.S., is the CEO of Unity School Services (USS) in Sugar Land, Texas, which manages Woodland Prep, and he was the founder of Harmony Schools, a charter school network in Texas.
According to an earlier report by Alabama Reporter magazine: "A copy of the USS contract with the Woodland Prep board shows that Tarım will make 15 % of all federal, state and local funds received by Woodland. If Woodland's projected enrollment of 260 students is accurate, Tarım will make more than $300,000," making him the highest-paid official in the poverty-stricken county.
It also said "legal questions" had been raised about Harmony as well as Tarım's use of the schools to exploit a visa program and skirt hiring laws to give contract jobs to Turkish workers and teachers.
"There have also been other education-related problems, such as a massive grade-change scandal at Harmony in Texas and financial fraud allegations related to grants at other Gülen schools," reported the magazine.
No matter what part of the world the terrorist group, which perpetrated the July 15, 2016, coup attempt that took 253 lives and wounded more than 2,700 people in 2016, sneaks into, the operational scheme is the same. Whether in countries with relatively more arbitrary legal structures or in countries with strictly institutionalized law, their educational institution system has been a lucrative gateway to build an economic powerhouse for FETÖ and its profiteering businessmen.
Texas is the state harboring the largest number of FETÖ-linked chartered schools in the U.S. Harmony Public Schools is the largest FETÖ charter network in Texas and the U.S., currently operating 57 schools, while an additional six schools are run under the name of the School of Science and Technology (SST).
It is not surprising how profitable these charter schools are considering the flow of state funds, which basically come from American taxpayers, receiving large amounts of funding. Tarım announced on Twitter in February 2019 that the Texas Education Agency had granted Harmony $1.75 million as part of the agency's 2019-2020 Principal Preparation Grant.