|State Attorney General of Maine may be contacted, Gulen Turkish group not|
invited back to apply after lying and misrepresentation to the board.
This is a huge blow to the Gulen Movement who invested thousands of dollars
in campaign contributions, trips to Turkey and honors only to get the shaft.
“You lied to me once. I don’t want to hear from you again,” Smith said, explaining false claims that a former mayor and city official backed the project were significant.
Commissioner Ande Smith said he was “incensed” they were lied to in the application, and recommended it be referred to the Maine Attorney’s General Office.
AUGUSTA — A subcommittee of the Maine Charter School Commission has recommended to be denied a proposal to establish the Lewiston-Auburn Academy Charter School.
Reasons for the recommended denial of the charter school include the fact that the proposal for that school lacks alignment to Maine Learning Results, graduation standards would not support Maine's proficiency-based diploma, and there is a lack of alignment to the state assessments.
Also, the subcommittee noted that community contacts mentioned in the application for various members of the Lewiston-Auburn community need to be actual letters of support, and that merely recognizing the contacts does not mean support for the application.
* And individuals mentioned in the application were contacted by the charter school, the report found. They did not all endorse the school as the application states. Applicants need to be sure about providing “actual" letters of support and recognizing that meeting with someone does "not necessarily mean support.”
“Commissioner Heidi Sampson said she researched backgrounds of the charter school’s applicants, Tarlan Ahmadov and Huseyin Kara, and said their assurances that the school had no ties to the Turkish Gulen movement “does not hold water.”
“How can these applicants say they are ‘Gulen inspired but not Gulen influenced?’” Sampson said. “If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, you can call it any sort of aquatic, avian creature but it still has the DNA of a duck coursing through its entire body.”
There will be no publicly financed charter school opening in Lewiston-Auburn this fall.
A state commission not only voted unanimously Monday to deny the application of the Lewiston-Auburn Academy Charter School, it voted to strike language in a report inviting the school with Turkish ties from applying again.
And two members of the Maine Charter School Committee blasted the applicants for falsifying claims that community leaders, including former Lewiston Mayor Larry Gilbert, endorsed the charter school when they had not.
The two attempted “to exploit” one population in Lewiston-Auburn, Somali Muslims, Sampsom said, that similar Gulen charter schools took money out of school funds for all-expense trips to Turkey, and promoted a dance culture in schools that created “feelings of reverence for Allah.” That is not allowed by charter school law, she said.
Kara and Ahmadov did not attend Monday’s hearing. In past meetings, they said Kara was Turkish but the proposed school was simply a charter school modeled after the high-performing Pioneer Charter School of Science in Massachusetts, where students have success.
"We believe in separation of church and state," Kara has said.