Denver Public Schools (DPS) plans to actively pursue people brought to the United States illegally and install them in their classrooms as teachers.
People deemed by the federal government to have the status of “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) are being gathered by DPS and Teach for America to be placed in the schools.
To qualify for DACA status, someone must have been under 16 when brought to the United States and have no criminal record.
Tom Boasberg, superintendent of Denver Public Schools, said proudly, “We look forward to increasing the number of great teachers who are in our classrooms and who are also role models for children who have similar cultural backgrounds and life experiences.” He continued, “In partnership with Teach For America, we believe that strong educators with deferred action status will bring critical insights to the classroom and will contribute to ensuring educational equity for all students.”
Teach for America is comprised of unlicensed teachers with an alternative license from the state to give students the experience of learning about different cultures. The unlicensed teachers are in programs to get their traditional licenses after one year.
But the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform opposes the move by DPS, stating that the majority of people with DACA status lack the proper training to become teachers:
It is unlikely that most of the illegal aliens with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status are trained, qualified, and certified as educators. Indeed, DACA status requires attainment of only a high school diploma or a GED certificate. Using unqualified individuals as “educators” does a tremendous disservice not only to students of all races and nationalities, but to our entire educational system.
The alliance added that the hiring of unlicensed teachers was unfair to Americans who were licensed to teach and looking for work:
There are at least 20 million Americans who either do not have a full-time job or are underemployed. This includes teachers. It is neither fair nor appropriate to hire unqualified foreign nationals to replace qualified and experienced American teachers.