LIFESTYLE

Oklahoma City recruits bilingual teachers in Puerto Rico to address growing Latino population

TYLER,TX - SEPTEMBER 11:  Lourdes Carmona, a Spanish speaking first grade teacher, instructs a class on the Spanish pronunciations of the alphabet at Birdwell Elementary School September 11, 2003 in Tyler, Texas. Carmona, a native of Spain, was recruited 5 years ago to teach Spanish speaking youngsters reading, writing, and arithmetic in their native language, as there was and continues to be a shortage of bilingual teachers in Texas. Carmona and her husband, also a native of Spain, are both employed by the Tyler Independent School District and permanently live in the east Texas city.  (Photo by Mario Villafuerte/Getty Images)

TYLER,TX - SEPTEMBER 11: Lourdes Carmona, a Spanish speaking first grade teacher, instructs a class on the Spanish pronunciations of the alphabet at Birdwell Elementary School September 11, 2003 in Tyler, Texas. Carmona, a native of Spain, was recruited 5 years ago to teach Spanish speaking youngsters reading, writing, and arithmetic in their native language, as there was and continues to be a shortage of bilingual teachers in Texas. Carmona and her husband, also a native of Spain, are both employed by the Tyler Independent School District and permanently live in the east Texas city. (Photo by Mario Villafuerte/Getty Images)  (2003 Getty Images)

A new group of bilingual teachers is joining the Oklahoma City Public School District.

The district's Human Resources recruiting team traveled to Puerto Rico to recruit, interview and hire bilingual teachers to support the district's growing Spanish-speaking student population and diversify the district.

Fourteen teachers from Puerto Rico are joining the district just in time for the start of school Aug. 3. Through the support of private donors, the teachers and their family members will start their adventure in Oklahoma when their flight touches down at Oklahoma City's Will Rogers World Airport Tuesday afternoon.

Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, has many qualified teachers who are American citizens and are familiar with the culture. Forty-eight percent of the district's 46,000 students are Hispanic and about 47 percent speak Spanish at home.

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