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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Chinese investors put millions into Florida charter schools



When is a charter school not really about schooling at all? When it's seen as an investment tool, with the primary objective of winning green cards into the United States.

No, this isn't some oddball joke with a bad punch line. It's the true story of some Chinese investors who want entry into the country and found that money greases the skids.

Miami Today reports: 

"Chinese investors are taking advantage of the EB-5 investment visa program, the so-called "green card via red carpet," by putting millions into Florida's charter schools and an aquaculture farm in Central Florida. 

"Under the EB-5 program, through investments of at least $1 million — or $500,000 for "targeted employment areas" — foreign nationals are able to obtain legal residency in the US so long as the money they invest will help secure or create at least 10 full-time jobs. 

"A group of Chinese investors have put $30 million into the state's charter school program to date and are looking to invest three times that amount in the next year, Ilona Vega Jaramillo, director of international business development for Enterprise Florida, the state's economic development arm, said in a US-China roundtable discussion last week."

Read the full story here. What are your thoughts about this type of investment? Is it better or worse than management companies that are looking to make money off the charter school movement?

[Last modified: Saturday, October 6, 2012 7:46am]


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