Palmdale district to recruit bilingual teachers in Mexico
Palmdale previously recruited teachers from Canada in the mid-1990s and Spain in 2000. The recruiting trip to Spain caused some controversy as the board split 3-2 on a vote to authorize it, with some trustees complaining that the district could find qualified bilingual teachers closer to home. At Tuesday’s board meeting, the vote was 5-0. Trustee Sheldon Epstein, who was in the minority in the 2000 vote, said he didn’t have a problem recruiting teachers in Mexico. District officials said they are looking in the United States for teachers, but can’t find the number and type of teachers they need. There is a shortage of teachers in general, especially among those with the expertise to teach math and science, officials said. “We do find qualified instructors in the U.S. We are currently recruiting in New York, the Northwest and Midwest, but they don’t typically have bilingual people in certain areas,” Gallizzi said. PALMDALE – The Palmdale School District will recruit bilingual teachers from Mexico under a program aimed at fostering mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries. The goal is to find nine teachers who would work at Los Amigos School, where students are taught in both Spanish and English, and at the district’s junior highs in the 2007-08 school year. “We are short teachers. We are short bilingual teachers. This is one place to find them,” interim Superintendent Roger Gallizzi said. The Exchange Teacher Visitor Program is the result of a 1961 federal law that aims to increase mutual understanding between Americans and people of other countries through educational and cultural exchanges, which assist the U.S. State Department in furthering its foreign policy objectives, a district staff report said. Epstein said Palmdale is competing with other areas that have growing Latino student populations. “It’s a case of supply and demand, and the supply is low. We have to look at other options,” Epstein said. The Mexican teachers must possess the proper teaching credentials in their own country and obtain a California credential once they arrive here. They also must take a language-proficiency exam to show fluency in English and pass a basic skills test for new teachers. A worker visa also is required, Gallizzi said. The Palmdale district will help those chosen find a place to live and familiarize them with the community, said Pauline Winbush, director of certificated personnel. firstname.lastname@example.org (661) 267-5744160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!