UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) — The public school system in Maryland’s Prince George’s County has agreed to pay $4 million to reimburse more than 1,000 foreign teachers it hired and required to pay fees the school system should have handled.

The teachers, the vast majority from the Philippines, were hired under a visa program for foreign workers. An investigation by the Department of Labor found the teachers were illegally required to pay fees that should have been covered by the school system.

The department announced the agreement with the school system Thursday. It said that the school system will also pay $100,000 in penalties and be barred for two years from hiring more foreign teachers. The school system, Maryland’s second largest, said in a statement it was sorry not to be able to continue to hire foreign workers and it was “not the outcome we had hoped for.”

“This decision is in the best interest of our school district,” the statement said. “Now it is time for us to move forward and continue to place highly effective teachers in every classroom in order to provide our students with the necessary
skills they need to be successful.”

The number of Filipino teachers working in Prince George’s County has grown enormously in the past several years as officials looked outside the United States to fill positions.

The Department of Labor previously said that the affected teachers were hired between 2005 and 2010 under the H-1B temporary foreign worker visa program. Teachers paid various fees including filing fees for their visas of between $190 and $320 as well as immigration attorney fees of approximately $1,000 and placement fees of $3,500. Approximately 700 teachers paid a $500 anti-fraud filing fee.

In all, the Prince George’s County school system employs roughly 9,000 teachers overseeing 130,000 students, according to its website.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (5)
  1. Thomas Harless says:

    My wife is Filipina, they generally get mistreated in the workplace. Who pocketed the money?

  2. Say What! says:

    I will never understand why Maryland is looking at those from the Philippines when you have US citizens here. Most don’t even speak english and are not suppose to speak their lanaguge wild at work. I have seen some good teachers be replace by those from the Philipines and it’s not a good at all. It’s just another way of the US being fooled. We sure can’t go over there and live.

  3. English Speaking Non-US Teacher says:

    There are many programs in the USA to hire foreign certified English-speaking teachers. The selection criteria is very strict and, quite frankly, many US certified teachers would not meet those criteria. One of them, of course, is full command of English, something “Say What!” does not seem to have as evidenced by the numerous grammatical mistakes [“…wild (SIC) at work…”]. Another reason why foreign teachers are hired is for the same reason many are hiring illegal aliens: many Americans are not willing to apply for those jobs for that pay under those working conditions. Simply put: it’s a matter of supply and demand.

  4. PAUL E. MICELLI says:

    What happened to the “FUNDS”??????????????????????????????

  5. Andrea Blackwell says:

    I remember this old argument. I was a teacher’s kid, when PG County was the #1 school district in the country. In 40 some odd years, the BEST solution they could come up with is sell teaching jobs to the Philippines, scamming them out of their hopes and dreams as well? That’s low even for PG County!
    With teacher colleges like Bowie State, Maryland U and John’s Hopkins in the neighborhood, there is absolutely NO excuse for this.
    Perhaps if the fools had a better education, they would have come up with a better solution to the problem. PGCS should serve detention and than be expelled!

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