Prince George's County owes Filipino teachers $4 million
The Washington Post is reporting today that the Prince George's school system will have to pay foreign teachers $4.2 million in wages that were withheld from them. A federal investigation has concluded that the teachers had to pay visa application fees before they came to the United States in order to get jobs in Prince George's. The fees essentially lowered the total compensation for the foreign teachers compared to the American teachers. "It is appalling that a schoo ldistrict illegally and unfairly exploited workers who came from other countries to teach in Americand schools," said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, in a statement released today.
The school system is being fined as much as $1.7 million, the paper reports.
The next question is whether Baltimore's Filipino teachers also had to pay for their visa application fees and whether Baltimore may be the next city to be investigated. Hundreds of Filipino teachers were brought to the city about half a dozen years ago when the school district didn't have enough qualified teachers to fill the empty teaching jobs. Today, the city is hiring few teachers and no longer recruits in the Philippines. The AFT has called attention to similar abuses in other states.