A U.S. Congresswoman received a bundle of $16,000 in campaign contributions from ten employees of a high-tech Texas charter school system that also receives federal grants.
Rep. Sheila Lee Jackson, D-Texas, reported receiving $16,000 in campaign contributions from Texas employees of Harmony Public Schools, which has 15% if its employees in the United States on H1-B work visas, most from Turkey. Yetkin Yildirim, superintendent of the charter school system, founded the school in 2000 saying that math and science courses in the U.S. were less rigorous than in Turkish schools. Rep. Jackson also reported $35,000 from physicians in the Houston area.
Rep. Jackson has been a strong supporter of the visa programs, including those for foreign medical students, physicians and high-tech workers. Rep. Jackson sits on the House Judiciary Committee and its subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement.
The ten contributions from those at Harmony Schools were all received on 10/6, and included school administrative employees with job titles, such as, superintendent and financial manager, director, personnel specialist, director of purchasing, administrator, IT specialist, credit manager, technology director, network and data analyst, and project director.
In December 2012, Rep. Jackson announced the Harmony School system had won a $29 million "Race to the Top" grant.
Rep. Jackson received an earlier bundle of Harmony School employee checks on November 14, 2011, when her campaign received $18,100. Harmony School employees also gave $11,600 on other dates in 2011-2012.