Teachers play a vital, and often underappreciated, role in U.S. communities. While immigrants comprise 13 percent of the U.S. population, they make up only 11 percent of all teachers. Of the estimated 8.1 million teachers in the United States, approximately 857,200 are immigrant teachers, and nearly half of those are postsecondary teachers. Twenty-two percent of postsecondary teachers in the United States are foreign-born. This paper provides a statistical and demographic portrait of immigrant teachers in the United States and highlights differences between native- and foreign-born teachers as well as between postsecondary and non-postsecondary teachers.
Foreign-born teachers not only educate Americans, but also serve as cultural ambassadors for immigrant students. Unfortunately changes to immigration policies may affect foreign-born teachers' ability to study and teach in the United States. This is especially relevant given that there are teacher shortages across the country that immigrant teachers might help alleviate.
January 24, 2019