Prince George's County D9 Politico Blog

Keeping politicians accountable and voters informed.

Unconscionable Actions by PGCPS

with 11 comments

I normally post a lengthy analysis on Prince George’s County’s latest news. In the case of yesterday’s breaking news about Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) owing foreign teachers $4.2 million in back wages, and $1.7 million in fines issued by the federal government, there’s no extended commentary that is necessary. It is simply unconscionable that PGCPS would not only fail to acknowledge the problem, but refuse to pay back wages or negotiate a settlement, according to today’s report in the Washington Post. Our Superintendent, Dr. Hite, says he plans an appeal. On what grounds? If you engaged in illegal procedures as part of your hiring practices in recruiting foreign teachers, then please stop making excuses for that. As I originally posted earlier this year, Dr. Hite has a large group of human resources staff, paid (in my opinion) excessive six-figure salaries to manage hiring for the school district. If our human resources staff cost PGCPS $5.9 million by making illegal decisions in hiring foreign teachers, then they should be fired immediately. Instead, the proposed FY 2012 budget includes increased salaries and wages for our human resources staff, and the creation of a new Human Capital Management division, at a cost of $16 million. The Board of Education would be making a serious mistake if they did not demand an internal investigation to determine how Ms. Shilling and her staff made illegal decisions that cost PGCPS millions. Our children have too much to lose if we do not fix the bureaucratic chaos within the PGCPS central office. UPDATE: Ms. Shilling lists her former position as Deputy General Counsel for Prince George’s County Public Schools. How could a former attorney for the school system be unaware of legal requirements regarding hiring practices for foreign teachers? It’s simply inexcusable.

Please join me, along with other concerned citizens in Prince George’s County, as we speak out about unanswered questions regarding the PGCPS FY 2012 budget on Thursday, May 5, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton. Make your voice heard before the County Council votes on the final budget in late May, by speaking at Council’s upcoming budget public hearings on May 2 and May 11. The public outcry must be loud, and must consist of thousands of voices, because our elected officials seem somewhat tone deaf about addressing corruption with a firm hand in Prince George’s County.

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Written by pgd9politico

April 5, 2011 at 1:31 pm

11 Responses

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  1. Thanks for posting this. In light of illegal actions by PGCPS led by Dr. William Hites Jr, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are other issues including many female staff members who are being frustrated, sexually harrassed and fired for complaining. I know of at least 4 current lawsuits involving assistant Principals and teachers. This is a joke. Ms. Shillings was transfered from legal department and put there illegally by Dr. William Hite Jr to cover up corruption. she has had problems before coming to PGCPS from Anne Arundel County. Why should PGCPS get a low deal by rewarding corruption? This is the same Ms. Shilling who is shelding Mr. Pierre Dickson who is involved in the sale of IT Equipment for cash.

    Moses

    April 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm

  2. Ms. Shilling is very malicious, discriminates and was fired in AA county before coming to PGCPS. She became the chief human resources officer to cover up corrption. She does not deserve such a position. Dr. William Hites needs to advertise the position of Chief human resources and fire her.

    Dwayne

    April 24, 2011 at 10:11 pm

  3. I regret stumbling on this blog only today. I am one of the Filipino teachers whose days in the employ of PGCPS are numbered. Today I found a word that encapsulates all that I think PGCPS is – unconscionalbe. I am seeing clearly for the first time how we are being systematically flushed out of the system so that in the words of Shilling, by 2014 there would be no “foreign nationals” in PGCPS classrooms – something to that effect. With no regard to our civil and human rights. The word is out that PGCPS has conceded to the DOL determination of PGCPS as willfull violators of the H1B program. The word is that PGCPS tried to pass the blame on the immigration lawyers of the manpower agencies that they had worked with in hiring us in the Philippines. We were interviewed in the Philippines by Mr. Gaskin and his party who we thought back then were representatives of PGCPS.. I had passed all my Praxis exams before I came to PGCPS to help “rescue” PGCPS from the consequences of not being able to fulfill the NCLB mandate. I was highly qualified according to Maryland standards. Oh and by the way, my LCA said “ESOL teacher;” My first classroom was “Reading and Language Arts,” until I decided that I would be safer working with ELLs and sought transfer to ESOL.. Soon, I will be following my friends who are being forced out of their jobs because of their visa expiration dates. Some whose visas are expiring this July have been given termination notices, others are being told by Shilling to find a school to transfer to in the system (as a result of the RIF) within 48 hours. I know one who secured a position in the given deadline but was still refused the position by Shilling. Shilling knows that in a few days her firing of Filipino teachers would be legalized by the debarment – the inevitable consequence of their willful violations. DOL has no laws to protect victims of PGCPS unjust practices. Hite rescinded AP 4117 to say that they will continue sponsoring extension of H1B visas. But actually, that rescinding order served only to smooth a wrinkle in their plans – they did not foresee DOL sending each one of us a copy of the determination. But the setback could thwart their plans because we, Filipino teachers, have gone to the media, solicited help from other members of the community – we were creating noise that was making them uncomfortable. Many of us rejoiced at the “answer to our prayers.” Many were suspicious, but remained hopeful that Hite was sincere in his seemingly change of heart. We thought PGCPS would have enough time to process our visa extensions, And until June 30, there seemed to be no reason to believe what looked like PGCPS good intentions. On June 30, teachers whose visas were expiring in July were told that there would be no further filings until DOL negotiations are concluded. When negotiations are concluded there will be no filings either because that is when the debarment will become effective. Shilling, if she is the mastermind of this operation, is a showcase of a brilliant criminal mind. If Hite was vacating positions for the 300 or so teachers in his TFA program, he couldn’t have hired a better partner than Shilling! I have been so focused on the job that PGCPS hired me for, growing professionally, nurturing my family, I had no time to analyze its actions and intentions. I came to the US believing that this is the one place that justice is considered an inalienable right, and that good work is rewarded, where people have equal opportunities. But this PG is just a piece of the US and Shilling and Hite are but two people. And I have an explanation to my children to carefully draft so that they will continue to believe in the goodness of humanity even as they face going back to the Philippines and watch their parents start all over again -from scratch at 45 when they should be preparing to retire.

    gurong pinoy

    July 3, 2011 at 6:27 am

  4. You need to get your friends together and call a press conference. Gazzette newspaper wanted to interview Filipino teachers when this article was published. Call them up or email me and we can arrange an interview. Ms. Shilling and the PGCPS legal department is a joke and is involved in corruption. Above all, abuse of power is a major part in which they are using to frustrate staff within the county. We should never rest until something is done.

    dwayne

    July 3, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    • For Dwayne: We will be at the Oxon Hill Baptist Church
      6633 Saint Barnabas Rd
      Oxon Hill, MD 20745

      I will admit that I have trepidation in coming forward and make my case public. We are treated as “foreigners” here, though we have called this our home for at least the last 4 of my 6 years in the USA. I am still a PGCPS employee and with my visa, I may not just up and go and transfer to a different school, or find a different job for that matter. My employer can make survival here harder than it is already, if I came out. I do not know how to email you.

      gurong pinoy

      July 6, 2011 at 2:17 am

      • the Oxon Hill meeting will be tomorrow, Wed at 3:45.+

        gurong pinoy

        July 6, 2011 at 2:18 am

      • Hey Gurong – I came to the meeting and I was not allowed in. It’s not good to invite someone if you practice segration policy. I wanted to help and exchange ideas. May be you can ask your collegues to embrace other cultures and see it as strength. (that’s what makes America a great place). I spoke to the pastor of the church outside and left. Good luck in your endevour.

        dwayne

        July 7, 2011 at 4:34 am

  5. I will come by at around 4:00pm. We understand your situation however remember that nothing comes easy. PGCPS management are trying to get you out of the system quietly. You should never let this happen. Of course Ms. Shillings and others in legal department want you to keep quiet in order to finish you off. This is to their advantage if you are silent. You and your fellow Filipinos should get together and make them accountable while doing your best for the kids. There is strength in numbers and you should never do this in fear. I look forward to seeing you later on. Cheers!!

    dwayne

    July 6, 2011 at 6:30 am

    • I am so sorry that you were barred from joining the meeting. like i said, we do not know who to trust anymore, but I was looking around for someone who might be you. you have not told me how to get in contact with you.

      gurong pinoy

      July 13, 2011 at 1:51 am

      • Gurong ~ No problem. We must look at the big picture and work together. It was sad to hear about the visa revokation after working together on this blog. email me at this address dwaynethomasjones@gmail.com. There is something I want to share with you for your benefit. Best of luck

        dwayne

        July 30, 2011 at 5:00 am

  6. If they have chosen to live and work in the US, then that’s fine. They want a good life, which is understandable. Just make sure that if they face troubles there, they should not run to the Phil. Embassy and ask that public funds be used to ensure that they maintain their comfortable lives in the US.

    There is no value added in helping these teachers because the country will not benefit that much if they want to continue to stay there. What possible benefit can the folks in Leyte get if we use public funds to help these US teachers fight for their continued stay abroad? Is the amount that they sent to the Philippines (remittances) enough to offset the expenditure that the Phil. Government will be spending?

    Most of these teachers have already bought houses/properties and even brought their families there. So why in the world should the Phil. Government spend for their legal cases when there are thousands of cases under the Public Attorneys Office (PAO) that needs more attention?

    Kirhat (@Kirhat)

    May 8, 2014 at 1:35 am


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