New York City Partners with the Dominican Republic to Hire Bilingual Teachers in the City’s Public Schools
New York City announced that they will be collaborating with the Dominican Republic to recruit bilingual teachers for the city’s public schools.
There has been a long shortage of bilingual educators in the city, and they are in even more demand now that thousands of migrants seeking asylum have arrived.
On Thursday, September 15th, Chancellor David Banks announced the new initiative, which is being facilitated in collaboration with the Consulate General of the Dominican Republic in New York City and the Association of Dominican-American Supervisors and Administrators (ADASA).
It entails hiring bilingual educators from the Dominican Republic for a cultural exchange program, with the first 25 educators hired this school year.
“They are the trailblazers — they are the first cohort of 25 and there will be others who continue to come,” Chancellor Banks said.
The partnership hopes to have placed an additional 25 educators by the start of the 2023-2024 school year, for a total of 50. These educators will not only strengthen connections with immigrant students and families from the Dominican Republic but also increase the number of bilingual Spanish-speaking teachers supporting schools with large Spanish-speaking populations while diversifying the city’s educators.
“Every student must have the support they need to succeed academically, physically, emotionally, and socially. The educators from the Dominican Republic will improve our ability to serve the needs of our growing Spanish-speaking student population and increase the diversity and cultural competency of our workforce,” said Banks.
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“We are thrilled to have the support of the Dominican Consulate General and ADASA in continuing to grow our Spanish-speaking educator workforce and better reflect the diversity of our city in our workforce,” he added.
Emmanual Polanco, principal of MS 80 in the Bronx and an ADASA member, has seen how the shortage of bilingual teachers has had a particularly negative impact on students during the pandemic.
Long before the arrival of asylum seekers, there was a need for bilingual educators. During the school year 2021-2022, 22.3% of students spoke Spanish as their first language.
Educators who speak a student’s native language are invaluable assets in assisting students as they learn English and in assisting schools in connecting with students, families, and the community.
Eligio Jaquez, the Dominican Republic’s consul general in New York City, said, “The program’s launch marks a historic moment for the Spanish-speaking community, increasing opportunities to embrace our cultures and facilitating global exchange.”
The 25 Dominican bilingual educators are being deployed as teachers in schools throughout the city where there is an interest and a need for additional teaching support. The teachers will instruct students in a variety of subject areas and grade levels.