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A Growing Need for Bilingual Teachers Means More Foreign Recruiting

A Growing Need for Bilingual Teachers Means More Foreign Recruiting

According to data from the National Center for Education Statistic, English Language Learners (ELL) are one of the fastest growing student populations in the country. As a result, many school systems are desperately seeking bilingual teachers, leading to an increase in foreign recruiting.

"Growing demand for bilingual teachers, fed by increasing numbers of Spanish-speaking public school students, is forcing local school districts to get creative in their recruiting. A major target for their efforts is Puerto Rico: the teachers, already U.S. citizens, don’t require a visa if they decide to leave the island and its struggling economy to go work on the mainland," said The Huffington Post.

Many districts are starting training programs for bilingual teachers while holding recruiting conferences abroad.

"Houston-area schools are organizing recruiting conferences locally and in San Juan. The Dallas Independent School District, which already recruits in Puerto Rico, is this year looking to Mexico and Spain for candidates, while starting a training program for local bilingual professionals to become teachers," the article said.

Indeed, recruiting bilingual teachers has been forced to turn into quite the creative process. A study from the Council of the Great City Schools found in 2013 that more than half of large school districts are short teachers for ELL or be will within the next five years, a problem that is made more difficult with the growing need for them.

Add in that Puerto Rico is experiencing financial troubles and citizens there are seeking better pay and opportunity, and foreign recruiting there becomes a no-brainer.

"Almost 16,000 working teachers moved to the states from Puerto Rico and Latin America between 2008 and 2013, with about two-thirds of them going to Arizona, California, Florida, New Jersey, New York and Texas, according to a Stateline analysis of American Community Survey data from the Minnesota Population Center."

Read the full story here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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