Nevada hires more Filipino special education teachers

Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 17 2019 10:19 AM

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LAS VEGAS, Nevada - The Clark County School District in southern Nevada recently hired 57 special education (SPEd) teachers from all over the Philippines.

This is not the first time that SPEd teachers were hired by Nevada. Back in 2017, 84 SPEd teachers from the Philippines made southern Nevada their home, while in 2018, 105 more were recruited.

A shortage of teachers in the US has forced the Clark County School District to look for candidates from other countries like the Philippines for 3 years now.

“We were accepted last January so we had six months to prepare so hinanda po namin lahat ng (we prepared all) paperworks ng licenses. Its tedious sobra pero, all the processes were worth it when we got here in Las Vegas,” said SPEd teacher Lucienne Marie Andres.

Sarah Mae Ruiz Panisan said she and her fellow teachers are excited to start the school year.

“Kasi ramdam namin 'yung support of everyone (We feel everyone's support),” she said.

The third batch of Filipino SPEd teachers between the ages of 23 and 30 said their training not only includes classroom management but also individualized planning for students with special needs.

“We had an accent reduction program. I believe that the Filipinos are the best speakers of the English language but still they have different accent here that’s why some terms and some accents they cannot understand that’s why we undergo such training,” said Marie Aileen Nesperos.

Monique Luna, 25, will be teaching children with intermediate autism.

“I went to my school last week and I was able to meet my principal and assistant principal. It’s very different compared to the Philippines like 'yung mga [the] terms. It’s really amazing,” she said.

The base salary for new teachers in Clark County is $40,900.
“There’s a huge difference in terms of the basic salary and in terms of the benefits as well. I miss my family but for better future and greener pasture po,” said Jan Salazar.

The Clark County School District provides J1 visas to teachers from other countries who are willing to work in Las Vegas for 3 years, with an option to renew contracts and stay for another 2 years.

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