Daily Archives: May 25, 2008

Louisiana Recruits RP Teachers

By Cynthia De Castro Asianjournal.com

LOS ANGELES – There’s a serious shortage of educators in the state of Louisiana. “It shows you how serious the problem is if we have to go to the Philippines to recruit teachers,” said Joe Potts, head of the Jefferson Federation of Teachers in Louisiana, as reported by The Times Picayune.
Unable to recruit enough teachers from America, a Human Resources team from the Jefferson Parish School System recently traveled more than 8,000 miles to the Philippines to fill in critical vacancies for the coming school year.The Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS ) is one of the largest districts in the state of Louisiana, consisting of 84 schools with a total enrollment of 52,367 students. Employees total 6,239, of which 3,494 are teachers.

The JPPSS recruitment team returned last week from the Philippines, after spending almost a week in Manila and Cebu interviewing more than 600 teachers who specialize in six major categories of subjects, including general math and science, advanced math and science, regular elementary school, special education, and English as a Second Language (ESL).

The team has returned to JPPSS and is now in the process of screening the applications. It is estimated to take another four weeks to process applications, complete background checks, and apply for work visas. The team is looking at hiring 60 teachers from their trip. Those who accept the offer of employment with JPPSS will participate in the New Teacher Induction program scheduled for the first week of August.

“I was very impressed with the candidates and their desire to come to the United States and work,” said personnel administrator Donna Joseph, a former teacher, who led the team. “They were very knowledgeable about their subject matter, and I was shocked at how many of the candidates had their master’s degrees, ” reported Joseph to The Times Picayune.

Other members of the team were personnel administrator Betsy Daly and two principals, Jackie Daniilidis of Estelle Elementary School and Darvell Edwards of Helen Cox High School.

School System spokesman Jeff Nowakowski said the trip, which cost between $12,000 and $15,000, was “expensive, but it’s a high value for us to get such qualified people,” he said.

The Filipino teachers will be paid the same as other Jefferson Parish teachers, who earn $39,000 to $54,000 a year depending on their experience and education. Teachers in the Philippines earn less than $10,000 a year.

(www.asianjournal.com)

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