Recruiting teachers from outside the USA has become a solution for school districts facing critical shortages of educators, especially in special education.
In Mississippi there are 451 educators in the states with degrees from foreign institutions. The teachers are hired on H-1B visas, filling positions in rural areas and hard to find specialties.
Three years ago, the the Noxubee County School District began working with an agency that recruits teachers in the Philippines. The district is classified by the state education department as one of 48 that has critical shortages. They especially has difficulty filling special education positions, and language pathologists.
Former Special Education Director Darlene Cole turned to Ligaya Avenida, CEO of California-based Avenida International Consultants Inc. The agency helps school districts employ qualified Filipino teachers.
“I would tell her what kind of teachers I needed, and she would send me some resumes. I’d review the resumes, and then we actually — one year they actually funded one of our employees to go over there (to the Philippines) and conduct the interviews in person,” Cole said. At other times, Cole interviewed candidates via Skype.