Wealthy investors from around te world are pouring millions of dollars into new charter school construction in the US. In return, they get a green card, thanks to a federal program known as EB-5.
An investor forum in China last spring, for instance, touted U.S. charter schools as a nearly fool-proof investment because they can count on a steady stream of government funding to stay afloat, according to a transcript posted on a Chinese website.
Arizona educator Holly Johnson, who runs three charter schools and plans to open a fourth next year, said she couldn’t believe how easy it was to secure $4.5 million in funding from abroad.
“We didn’t have to do anything at all,” she said, other than open her schools to potential investors. They didn’t ask many questions, she said. Their concern was more basic: “They wanted to come over and make sure it was real.”