An Article from Dallas News

A state investigation into Harmony charter schools found nothing wrong

A state investigation into Harmony charter schools found nothing wrong.

by Holly K. Hacker
State education officials have dismissed a wide-ranging complaint against Texas' largest charter school network, saying they either found no wrongdoing or lacked the authority to investigate.

The Texas Education Agency cleared Harmony Public Schools of allegations that it illegally steered business to vendors with ties to Harmony and the nation of Turkey. The agency dismissed several other claims that involved teacher hiring, special education and other matters, saying it was outside the agency's jurisdiction.

"We are pleased the TEA has issued a report clearing Harmony of false charges," Peggy England, a school spokeswoman, said in a statement. She said Harmony remains focused on teaching children across Texas. The charter network has a dozen campuses in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The international law firm that filed the complaint in May against Harmony said the Texas Education Agency, which oversees the state's 600-plus charter schools, failed to do its job.

"They essentially punted," said Robert Amsterdam, a lawyer with Amsterdam & Partners. He said the schools are a "mess and they survive because there is no regulation."

The Republic of Turkey hired the law firm to investigate Harmony and other charter school networks suspected of having ties to a Turkish scholar and preacher, Fethullah Gulen. Turkey's president blamed a coup attempt this summer on Gulen and his followers.

Amsterdam said his firm will pursue its complaint with other Texas authorities.

You can read the TEA's letter about its investigation below.

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