MANOR (KXAN) School starts today for thousands of students enrolled in the Manor Independent School District.

Similar to what we’ve witnessed all across the country, the school district has struggled with staffing shortages.

Manor ISD currently has 200 openings, 81 of which are teacher vacancies. Hoping to fill this void with experience from overseas, the district has 89 international teachers.

With 400 teachers working within Manor ISD, this group represents almost a quarter of the total teaching body.

Pedro Vasquez is a Spanish teacher at Decker Middle School. The Colombian native said this program is solving staffing shortages while showcasing cultural diversity.

“We are glad to share our culture, knowledge and passion to learn,” Vasquez said. “We are very happy to be here to teach, help, learn and grow.”

Most of these teachers are working on J-1 visas and coming from countries such as Colombia, India, Spain and the Philippines.

This foreign work program was put in place at Manor ISD in 2021.

“I have seen performance improved overall,” Vasquez said. “Kids are getting better grades, these teachers that are bringing a new perspective to the school.”

The international teachers are working on three-year contracts, with an option to extend their visas for a fourth and fifth year.

After that, they’re expected to head back to their home country to share the American culture that they learned in the classroom.