• 29 August 2016
Chinese Investors Help Fuel Charlotte’s Charter School

Rapid charter school expansion has led to a growing number of startup schools, which are turning to charter-school finance companies to pay for facilities. Some even contact a network of companies and consultants to help them run the schools. Executive directors for the most part have never heard of the Chinese investment in charter schools. Since charter schools don’t get public money for facilities, but must begin paying bills before the first state check arrives, it is common to see new school taking out loans.

Thunderbird Preparatory Academy, a Cornelius charter school that’s fighting for survival got three million dollars through the EB-5 program, which provides green cards to foreign investors who create U.S. jobs. Since charter school salaries are not paid with public money, an Arizona-based company called Education Fund of America allows investors the opportunity to invest in charter schools, claim the job-creation visa benefit and rely on government support to secure the investment.

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