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Mississippi Schools Recruit Teachers Outside US

Hundreds of educators from the Philippines, India and elsewhere from outside the U.S. are in Mississippi classrooms teaching in hard-to-fill positions and in rural areas.

Superintendents in Jackson Public Schools, Noxubee County, Holmes County, Meridian and Gulfport have all hired foreign teachers on temporary visas called H-1Bs, along with others. According to MDE, there are 451 teachers in the state with degrees from outside the country.

School officials in Noxubee County three years ago began working with an agency that helps recruit teachers from the Philippines.

The district, which is classified by the state education department as one of 48 critical shortage areas, had difficulty filling special education positions. Former Special Education Director Darlene Cole said the district also had trouble finding speech language pathologists to work with students with communicative disorders.