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Tue Oct 31, 2017, 06:37 AM

Dept. Of Education Has Received Hundreds Of Requests For Student Transcripts As Families Move ...

Dept. Of Education Has Received ‘Hundreds Of Requests’ For Student Transcripts As Families Move Stateside

ST. THOMAS — The Virgin Islands Department of Education, which was already struggling to retain teachers, maintain schools badly in need of repair, and keep essential curriculum in place because of the lack of funds, has found itself in a precarious position following Hurricanes Irma and Maria, with the department receiving hundreds of requests for student transcripts, as families move to the U.S. mainland seeking better education for their children and better lives for themselves.

The requests for transcripts revelation was made by Dept. of Education Commissioner Sharon McCollum during a Senate hearing in St. Thomas on Wednesday. There, Ms. McCollum also revealed that the department, which had 123 teaching vacancies before the storms, had lost an additional 150 employees.

The department has struggled to retain teachers, according to Ms. McCollum, who in August blamed the exodus on the territory’s inability to compete with U.S. jurisdictions.

“Applicants’ interest quickly dissipates when they attempt to negotiate incentives and salary schedules. Our department is simply at a disadvantage and unable to compete with school districts nationally in regards to monetary compensation,” Ms. McCollum acknowledged during an August hearing. She said D.O.E.’s competitiveness “has to be weighed by the lack of typical incentives offered nationally. For example relocation reimbursements, nationally competitive starting salaries and schedules, and signing bonuses; our inability to provide all typical incentives hinders our attractiveness; comparative to other school districts, and contributes to our inability to compete for the limited pool of applicants locally and nationally.”

Read more: http://viconsortium.com/featured/dept-of-education-has-received-hundreds-of-requests-for-student-transcripts-as-families-move-stateside/

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