DISD Recruiting Teachers From Mexico and Colombia

DISD recruiting
DISD Administration building | Image by DISD

Still reeling from its teacher shortage and retention crisis, Dallas Independent School District (DISD) has been taking its desperate search for educators abroad, hosting recruitment events in Colombia and Mexico.

As previously reported in The Dallas Express, the district has struggled to retain experienced educators, clocking a turnover rate of 13.8% for the 2021–2021 academic year.

More recently, DISD resorted to pulling staff from its central office to help alleviate a shortage of teachers in early October, almost two months into the 2022–2023 school year.

It is in this context that DISD’s human capital management (HCM) team claims it is “searching the world over for the best teachers,” according to a district news release.

The team’s efforts could be working, as per the district’s admission:

“In the past few months alone, over 40 international teachers have come to call Dallas ISD home, and more are soon to follow thanks to HCM’s upcoming recruitment events.”

Apparently, the U.S. State Department and Texas Education Agency have signed off on giving DISD the authority to sponsor migrants through two visa options, the J-1 cultural exchange program, and the more well-known H-1B temporary work permit.

The J-1 visa allows for three to five years of United States residency under conditions of employment with DISD.

Applicants must hold the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree, teaching accreditation in their home country, and a minimum of two years of teaching experience.

The program guidelines also state, “In addition to your normal teaching responsibilities, an important part of your program will also be to share your culture with your students and the host community.”

The H-1B program, at least for the 2022–2023 academic year, was reserved for aspiring educators looking to work as “elementary bilingual (English/Spanish) teachers.” It allows them to stay in the country for up to six years while working at DISD.

The program calls for applicants without Texas teaching certification to enroll in DISD’s alternative certification program, a mechanism the district uses to place uncertified instructors into classrooms while they complete a one-year, paid “internship,” eventually earning certification, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.

Exclusively issuing H-1B visas to prospective Spanish-speaking elementary school teachers seemed a reasonable response to reports of ESL students who are struggling academically at DISD.

“Other international teachers should consider moving to Dallas ISD because of the diversity they will find in the district,” stated Mexican national and certified DISD teacher Ana Perez Garcia.

“Most importantly, they will get to help a lot of students and their families who come from similar cultures and experiences but also families who are interested in having their child learn a second language and culture,” she said. “The positive impact they will make on their students and families will be something that will give them a great sense of gratification.”

Last weekend, DISD held an international recruitment event at a Hilton Garden Inn in Monterrey, Mexico.

It will also host an upcoming “information session” at a Residence Inn by Marriott in Bogotá, Colombia, where applicants can start the process of becoming a teacher at DISD “despite [their] professional background.” Teaching experience is, of course, “preferred but not required.”

The Dallas Express reached out to DISD and asked how long the district has been hiring foreign nationals to teach, how many foreign nationals were currently instructors of record, and what countries the district has been hiring from.

No response was forthcoming as of publication.

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  1. R. Gonzalez

    Teachers salary would always be so unfair. Teachers do so much than just teaching. But I feel the reason why so many teachers are leaving is because teachers are put to extreme stress by so many different things that take away from the actual teaching and there is no help most of the time. Administrations forget that teachers also have a life outside the classrooms. I am a teacher myself. Everyday I go home and still spend 2-3 hours doing work because I want the best for my students. But you get to a point were I feel like a slave to my profession which at times makes me wanna leave.

  2. Kevin

    No sirrrr lol alot of bending rules to make one type of people comfortable
    Texas going to be Mexico or Columbia in 8 months at the rate Texas going


    Will these new teachers face the same strict requirements our local teachers face? Will they be here to teach the basics which in no way include woke or transgender agenda.

    • Zulia

      Good questions! And I don’t want them coming here and teach how and what they want, but go by our rules. Even though they can do until they get in to the US and then start doing whatever they want.

  4. Zulia

    This is a very very bad idea!!!! They need to figure out how to recrute their own people. Maybe they will want to recruited teachers from China too? We need to change all executives who make that kind of decisions.

  5. Zulia

    Where is a governor?! He should come and visit and fix this.

  6. Renda Schuelke

    It looks to me like they are hiring Teachers that are use to lower pay. This will also bring about the schools getting away from English as a first language and making it a second language. The problem is that our teachers (US) are tired of lower pay to the point they can’t support their families. The daily dealings with undisciplined kids and are worried about their safety. The Texas Education Agency is top heavy with politicians and are not worried about the teachers who are the front line struggling every day.

  7. Anna

    Very interesting 🤨 My question to the Dallas powers that be is this! Why don’t you pay American teachers a decent pay for taking their lives in their hands every day teaching children how to think?!?! Maybe 🤔 just maybe y’all could keep teachers. They are not paid enough to teach our children! Then y’all would not have to go to a foreign country to find teachers willing to work for a lower pay!! English is and should be the primary language at all times!! Don’t ever forget that!!

  8. Deborah Armstrong

    There is an excess of teachers in Canada as well. Maybe they could bring from from there as well.


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