Denver Public Schools administrators believe they are the first school district in the nation to actively seek out people who were initially brought to the United States illegally to now teach in the classroom.
“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,” Tom Boasberg, superintendent of Denver Public Schools, said.
DPS is working with Teach for America to bring people with an official status of “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” as determined by the federal government. Part of the requirements for DACA status is that a person must have been brought to the United States under the age of 16 and have a clean criminal record. Even with DACA status, they are still not recognized as legal citizens.
Teach for America is a program which brings people of different backgrounds and experiences into the classroom to enhance learning. They are not licensed teachers but were issued an alternative license from the State of Colorado to teach. These teachers are currently enrolled in classes to attain their traditional teaching license after one year.
But, Denver has a significant population of students who are undocumented, and Boasberg believes this effort will help serve those families.