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US charter schools: Investment magnet for visa-needy foreigners?

Cash-starved charter schools meet cash-flush Chinese, Pakistani, and other foreigners looking for US investments that will get them a visa.

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Charter school supporters protest budget cuts, 4,500 rally for Ohio Public Charter Schools at the State Capitol in Columbus, May 13, 2009.

PRNewsFoto/My School, My Choice

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It's been a turbulent period for charter schools in the United States, with financial analysts raising concerns about their stability and regulators in several states shutting down schools for poor performance.

The volatility has made it tough for startup schools to get financing.

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But an unlikely source of new capital has emerged to fill the gap: foreign investors.

Wealthy individuals from as far away as China, Nigeria, Russia, and Australia are spending tens of millions of dollars to build classrooms, libraries, basketball courts and science labs for American charter schools.

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