Monday, April 04, 2011

Re: Statement by AFT President Weingarten On International Recruitment of Teachers in Prince George's County, Md.

Dear President Randi Weingarten,

I would like to thank you for supporting the struggles of our Filipino teachers in PG County.

Our union leaders constantly remind me to be tough, to stand tall and to persevere amid the challenges that we are currently facing in our profession, they instilled in me the spirit of solidarity and strength. Rest assured that this same spirit is being translated harmoniously and resonated to our Filipino teachers across the US, back home in the Philippines and around the world.

Once again, with all my heart, I thank the AFT for upholding the rights of the Filipino teachers.

Maria Angala, NBCT


For Immediate Release

April 4, 2011

John See

Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On International Recruitment of Teachers in Prince George’s County, Md.

United States Department of Labor investigators today announced they have found that Maryland’s Prince George’s County Public Schools willfully violated federal labor laws. More than a thousand teachers paid thousands of dollars in illegal fees before coming to the United States, according to the Labor Department.

WASHINGTON—It is appalling that a school district illegally and unfairly exploited workers who came from other countries to teach in American schools, and it is especially troubling that this exploitation occurred just a short drive from the nation’s capital.

This isn’t the first example of this type of abuse. A 2009 AFT report called attention to abuses in international teacher recruitment, and the AFT filed state and federal complaints last year on behalf of Filipino teachers working in Louisiana. The AFT has been actively pushing for legislation to regulate the recruitment industry, and is participating in a MacArthur Foundation-funded effort to develop a code of ethics for the international recruitment of teachers. Our goal is to create a systemic fix to keep such abuses from happening again. If proactive regulations had been in place to stop the bad actors, Prince George’s County Public Schools would not be spending millions in back pay now.

We are grateful that the United States Department of Labor has investigated, and is enforcing these laws. We will continue to work with federal, state and local officials to end exploitative recruitment and to support all teachers in our public schools.


The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Examiner: P.G. schools fined millions for charging foreign teachers fees

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