24 January 2015, AJC.com (Atlanta)
Georgia school districts have spent at least $52.5 million in the last five years importing foreign teachers, mostly to teach math, science and special education, but the districts have not hired a single one.
Instead they use recruitment firms, which can provide a buffer for school districts who fear running afoul of federal laws governing the H-1B visa system. Yet districts elsewhere have faced investigations and lawsuits over their involvement in visa schemes. Here are several:
Prince George’s County, Md.
In November, the U.S. Department of Labor ordered the county schools to pay $4.2 million in back wages and $1.7 million in penalties for “willful” violation of H-1B rules between 2005 and 2001.
The district got into trouble when Filipino teachers said they were charged fees for their visas and were paid less than their American colleagues. Federal law requires employers to bear the fees for an H-1B visa and pay their foreign teachers at least as much as they would an American worker.