VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — Teachers from all over the world may soon be filling spots in Volusia County classrooms.
Volusia County Schools are looking to hire more than two dozen international teachers. They are part of a program called TPG that places international educators in schools to help with staffing.
The district approved the nearly $2 million agreement Tuesday night.
The teachers’ union said it had filled the spots, but it would not help with retention in the long run.
District leaders said that with so many open spots, this is a good step.
David Voss of Voss and Associates said an independent third-party checks credentials, diplomas, education, references and experiences before certifying them to meet Florida’s criteria.
The Department of Education recognizes this third party as authentic.
Contracts through the TPG program are a three to five-year agreement, which the teacher’s union said is a problematic timeframe.
“How do we build those sustainable long-term relationships that actually help us achieve the goals we have for our students?” said Elizabeth Albert from Volusia United Educators.
Albert said the nearly $2 million spent to bring these teachers to Florida schools could be better used.
“Our children are not experiments,” she said. “We can’t risk providing anything less than less than the highest quality education.”
A cost estimate sheet shows the district would save $1,600 per year by employing an international teacher over a local teacher.
The international teacher would be paid the same salary and get health insurance but would not receive retirement benefits.
“There’s no additional cost to taxpayers,” Voss said. “We’re not replacing teachers.”
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