After 10 years of skirting federal employment laws, the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity is faced with losing 26 foreign-language teachers, which could threaten programs at nearly two dozen middle and high schools overseas if qualified replacements can’t be found.
Federal law requires teachers of core courses at Defense Department schools overseas to be U.S. citizens. Unless Congress passes legislation that would permit the local hiring of noncitizens when qualified American teachers can’t be found, jobs are at stake for nine teachers in the Pacific Rim and 17 in Europe.
The DODEA first acknowledged using noncitizens in a 2006 internal memo. Its solution was to “grandfather” in all current foreign-national teachers. But this summer, the DODEA’s lawyers determined that grandfathering was inconsistent with federal statute and would be rescinded.
A version of this article appeared in the October 01, 2014 edition of Education Week as DOD Schools May Lose Foreign-Language Teachers