Concerns have been raised by financial analysts as to the stability of charter schools in the United States, with a great many being closed by regulators due to poor performance. This level of volatility has made it very tough for startup schools to get funding, which in turn has resulted in an influx of foreign investors who are stepping in to fill the gap.
Wealthy families in countries such as Australia, China, Nigeria and Russia are offering millions of dollars to US schools to help build classrooms, laboratories, libraries and sports venues, with the money being invested meaning that foreign nationals are eligible to qualify for EB-5 temporary US work visas, allowing them and their families to come to the United States. Should the venture result in the successful creation of ten jobs within the first two years, the family then becomes eligible for permanent residency,
“The demand is massive – massive – on the school side,” says Education Fund of America founder and investment adviser Greg Wing. “On the investor side, it’s massive too. It’s going to be explosive.”
Recent issues with charter schools in the United States are making the investment a potentially risky one, with immigrant investors having previously lost their money and their chance at US citizenship when their partner in America failed to reach expectations or standards, but even with the risk there is rapidly increasing interest in the investment, with over 3,000 petitions from foreigners approved by the US government in the first nine months of this year.