Foreign teachers face unequal working conditions - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Foreign teachers face unequal working conditions

ATLANTA (WTOC) - In the past five years, Georgia school districts have spent at least $52.5 million in taxpayer money importing hundreds of foreign teachers to staff hard-to-fill positions in math, science and special education. Most of those teachers end up in metro Atlanta, often in low-performing schools that have an even more difficult time finding domestic teachers.

The international market for teacher talent is a good deal for school districts, which get needed skilled instructors without paying for their benefits. And international teachers, some of whom bring their children in hopes of enrolling them in American universities, seldom complain publicly about the conditions.

But human rights groups say the practice comes close to human trafficking and treats teachers like a commodity — traded between school districts with little care given to their situation and with virtually no representation.

Lawsuits and federal investigations show the system can lead to abuses.

In 2011, Global Teachers Research and Resources was fined more than $75,000 for failing to properly pay its employees and is under a new U.S. Department of Labor investigation for similar claims. Some employees say Global continues to violate the law and is erratic in how it pays its teachers.

The chief operating officer of the company is State Rep. Mike Glanton, D-Jonesboro, a member of the House Education Committee.

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