Teachers hired from PH filling shortage in some Arizona schools
SAN FRANCISCO — A school district in Arizona is fixing the problem of teacher shortage by recruiting from a pool of highly educated and certified teachers from the Philippines.
The Casa Grande Union High School District has hired 16 Filipino teachers this year to help ease the shortage of qualified teachers who are leaving the state of Arizona in big numbers.
There are about 1,000 teacher openings in the Phoenix area alone as teachers flee the state because of low pay and inadequate classroom resources.
Arizona’s average teacher salary is just below $32,000, while the average nationwide teacher salary in 2013 was just below $50,000. In California the average is about $69,000 and in Nevada $56,000.
Lourdes Dellosa has taught for more than 30 years in the Philippines, but for the last two years she has been teaching math at Casa Grande Union High School. She’s one of 16 Filipino teachers at the school this year.
The Filipino teachers’ salaries range from $34,000 to $46,000 a year, enough to pay living expenses and remit money back to their families, but low for U.S.-trained teachers.
Schools Superintendent Dr. Shannon Goodsell told reporters that the Filipino teachers the district has hired “are absolutely phenomenal,” and that all have a master’s degree in their areas of teaching.
Compared with long-term, unlicensed substitute teachers, the Filipino teachers are licensed, endorsed and are certified to teach in Arizona, said Goodsell, who said he traveled all over the U.S. to look for qualified teachers and failed.
The school district uses a recruiting company to find qualified teachers from the Philippines. The company recruits based on candidates’ credentials, resumes and YouTube videos showing their teaching skills. Interviews are done via Skype.
Once a candidate is hired, the company helps them with visas, setting up living arrangements and getting certified to teach in Arizona
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