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Looking to Spain to Hire Teachers

May 24, 1987

It was very amusing to read the article (Southeast / Long Beach sections, May 14) where the Lynwood Unified School District has requested the state Department of Education to recruit six qualified bilingual Spanish-speaking teachers from Spain. The reason was the universities were not turning out enough bilingual teachers.

I have taught and have been an administrator at East Los Angeles College for 29 years. The present student body is 60% Hispanic. There are ample bilingual students in Southern California to provide all of the bilingual teachers that the state could possibly need. The problem then is not the raw material, but the salary.

If the Lynwood district wants bilingual teachers, they must go out in the marketplace and pay for the talents they need, just like industry does. I suspect that they are like the farm industry, more willing to go to Mexico and import cheap labor. Or perhaps they just have their hands tied with a union contract that makes all teachers equal no matter how valuable their skills are.

In a free enterprise economy, if you don't compete by paying the cost of good productive employees, you can only produce inferior products. I feel sorry for the students of Lynwood and any other district that is not willing to pay the salary, the bonus, or whatever is necessary to get the best.

--ROBERT R. PILLING

Downey

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