Following news earlier this month that the Horizon Science Academy charter schools were launching a lawsuit against the Ohio Department of Education over denied grant money, lawyer Robert Amsterdam of Amsterdam and Partners LLP has written an open letter to the state’s Attorney General Dave Yost to denounce the brazen gesture by the charter operator and remind the authorities of the numerous grounds for investigation into the school’s misconduct.
Amsterdam, who since 2015 has been investigating a nationwide network of charter schools linked to the controversial cult leader Fethullah Gülen on behalf of the Republic of Turkey, describes the Horizon lawsuit against the state of Ohio as “an egregious abuse of the public education system, its students, and the taxpayers.”
“For them to file this suit in the middle of a pandemic, with budgets being slashed, American teachers being fired while Turkish teachers on visas keep their jobs, is a dramatic insult,” Amsterdam said upon issuing the open letter to Attorney General Yost. “They clearly believe that not only will they get away with ripping off the taxpayer, but that they have a ‘right’ to do it.”
According to the letter to Attorney General Yost, the Horizon Science Academies, which were raided in 2015 by the FBI, have a board of directors that is 84% Turkish, with members who serve on multiple school boards at the same time. “These Turkish American businessmen and educators not only control the administration, but often make up portions of the staff through the overuse and abuse of the H-1B visa program.”
The letter notes that Horizon has filed 760 H-1B applications between 2001 and 2015 to bring in teachers from Turkey. Concept’s preferred vendors are also owned operated and controlled by Turkish individuals, several of whom are also under investigation for collusion and fraud, according to the 2016 complaint against the schools presented by Amsterdam & Partners LLP.
Download the full open letter here, or read below. Read our book Empire of Deceit for a full study of the nationwide network of Gulen charter schools, and stay tuned for our upcoming Book II, Web of Influence.