Filipino teachers in Louisiana

  • Navarro and Medi-Cal

    Lourdes "Lulu" Navarro begins an eight month plot to file false claims to Medi-Cal, a program through the California Department of Health Care Services. She write in her plea, that she caused "a loss to Medi-Cal in excess of $1 million." She also said that the money was laundered into cash. She also stoled the names of three doctors to create false documents. Source: AFT complaint
  • Guilty plea filed

    Guilty plea filed
    Lourdes "Lulu" Navarro plead guilty in Orange County, California to several charges including white collar crime, grand theft and identity theft. Navarro, along with others, stole identities of several doctors, cause $1 million worth of damage by submitting false claims to Medi-Cal, a program through the California Department of Health Care Services Source: AFT Complaint
  • Narravo is sentenced

    Narravo is sentenced
    Lourdes "Lulu" Navarro is sentenced in Orange County, California after pleading guilty to several charges including fraud, grand theft, and money laundering. Among her punishment is probation. Source: AFT Complaint
  • The RSD is born

    *Estimated date Louisiana legislative session begins this month. During the session, the Recovery School District is created. Source: Recovery School District, New Orleans website
  • Navarro pleads guilty

    Lourdes Navarro pleads guilty in a New Jersey superior court to one count of money laundering. She is sent back to California and given two years of probation. The punishment was to be served concurrently with her California probation. Source: AFT Complaint
  • UPI is born

    Universal Placement International files as a corporation in California Source: California Secretary of State
  • Hurricane Katrina hits

    Hurricane Katrina makes landfall the southern coast of the United States devastating New Orleans. More than 1,800 people lost there lives, and more then $81 billion dollars in damages occurred. The effects of Katrina are still felt to this day Source: US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Blanco signs RSD legislation

    Blanco signs RSD legislation
    Act 35
    Then-governor Kathleen Blanco signs Act. 35 that allows schools in academic crisis be designated as a failing school. Those schools would then be entered into the Recovery School District. Source: Louisiana State Legislature
  • Schools after Katrina report

    View report here
    The U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce prepare a report detailing the challenges of New Orleansarea schools and colleges a year after Katrina.
    The report says of the more than 4,000 teachers employeed in New Orleans publiic schools, about 1,000 were rehired. Lack of housing hindered recruiting efforts while thousands either sought positions elsewhere or left the profession. Source: Schools After Katrina: A Look at New Orleans Area Schools and Colleges One Year Later
  • Picard dies

    Picard dies
    State Superintendent of Education Cecil Picard dies. Source: Recovery School District website
  • Pastorek named new state superintendent

    Pastorek named new state superintendent
    The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) selects Paul G. Pastorek as the new Superintendent of Education. Source: Recovery School District website
  • Jarvis leaves

    Jarvis leaves
    Robin Jarvis announces that she will leave the RSD at the end of the month. Source: Recovery School District website
  • Vallas leads RSD

    Vallas leads RSD
    State superintendent Paul Pastorek announces Paul Vallas as the new superintendent of the Recovery School District. Source: Recovery School District website
  • A resume is sent*

    A resume is sent*
    *Estimated date Sometime in June, Ingrid Cruz sends a resume to Par's International Placement for a teaching position in the U.S. The company is run by Emilio Villarba, Lourdes Navarro's brother. Source: AFT Complaint
  • Interest is piqued

    Lourdes Navarro sends email to Liz Duran Swinford, East Baton Rouge associate superintendent of human resources, confirming an interview schedule for July 2 to interview teachers. The same email outlines that the district needs 20 teachers. This is the first email contract between East Baton Rouge and Universal Placement International. Source: AFT
  • Louisiana Education Department enters into a contract

    Louisiana Department of Education enters into a contract with Universal Placement International on behalf of the Recovery School District.
    The contract wasn't signed until Sept. State education superintendent Paul Pastorek said talks with the company happened before he got there. The contract was for $47,500. Source: The Shreveport Times
  • New Orleans seeks teachers

    A national recruitment effort is announced to supply the Recovery School District in New Orleans needed teachers Source: Alexandria Town Talk
  • Money is exchanged

    Ingrid Cruz gives Emilo Villarba $5,000 to process her visa and out-of-state certificate. Later she would give more money: $130 for more visa processing, $80 for an exit clearance, $60 for training, and $7,400 which equaled 20 percent of her gross income. Source: AFT Complaint
  • Cruz signs her offer

    Ingrid Cruz signs her offer letter with the East Baton Rouge School District. Her annual income was $36,425. Source: AFT Complaint
  • Cruz moves

    The day Ingrid Cruz left the Philippines. When she arrives, she is told to sign another contract and was taken to the Social Security office.
    She was also told living arrangements were already made. Cruz paid $368 for first month's rent and a $100 deposit. She stayed in the two bedroom apartment with three other teachers paying $243.75 a month. Source: AFT Complaint
  • Contracts are signed

    The contract is signed between UPI and the Louisiana Department of Education. Among those signatures are State Superintendent Paul Pastorek and Recovery School District Superintendent Paul Vallas Source: The Shreveport Times
  • Navarro becomes president

    A resolution by the Board of Directors of Universal Placement International makes Lourdes Navarro president of the company. Source: AFT Complaint
  • Cruz's first day

    Ingrid Cruz begins her job as a science teacher at Crestworth Pre-Engineering Magnet Academy Source: AFT Complaint
  • Universal Placement International registers

    On this date, UPI registers with the Louisiana Secretary of State office as an out-of-state business corporation. The state site lists the Louisiana address as: 3867 PLAZA TOWER, 1ST FLOOR, BATON ROUGE, LA 70816 Source: Louisiana Secretary of State website
  • EBR goes to Manila

    East Baton Rouge officials fly to Manila and stay until Nov. 20. The trip costs $20,241 Source: AFT Complaint
  • Jefferson Parish goes to the Philippines

    Jefferson Parish officials fly to the Philippines to recruit teachers. They're there until April 30. Source: American Federation of Teachers
  • Jefferson gives offers

    Jefferson Parish sends out offer letters to Filipino teachers Source: American Federation of Teachers
  • A memo

    According to board minutes, staff members placed a memo on the board members seat on May 30 that mentioned a trip to the Philippines.
    The document was not part of the board packet for that meeting and at the time members did not recall seeing it. Source: Caddo Parish School Board minutes
  • Traveling to the Philippines

    Traveling to the Philippines
    Caddo Parish personnel travel to the Philipines in late June (date is an estimation) to hire teachers. Those that made the trip were: Jan Holliday, director of certified personnel, Pam Barker, special education staffing administrator, and Sara Ebarb, an elementary school director. Source: The Shreveport Times
  • An end to an accord

    RSD Superintendent Paul Vallas decides to not renew the contract with UPI. State superintendent Paul Pastorek said the contract was not renewed because UPI was "pushy." However, that decision was not made public.
    "There was some sense on the part of our HR department in their dealing with them that there seemed to be a
    pushiness to them. That they were pushing too hard,
    In the same month, Caddo Parish School Board officials traveled to the Philippines to recruit. Source: The Shreveport Times
  • New Caddo Superintendent

    New Caddo Superintendent
    Gerald Dawkins first day Source: The Shreveport Times
  • Email notification?

    According to board minutes, some board members received an email about the Filipino teachers. The minutes don't mention who sent it and what it said. Source: The Caddo Parish School Board minutes
  • Caddo School Board learns of the teachers

    Caddo School Board learns of the teachers
    Caddo Parish school administrators tell school board members about hiring the teachers. Caddo board member Larry Ramsey said: If we can place (people with) master's degrees and doctorates in the classrooms at some of these low-performing schools and help turn them around, then I'm all for it." Source: The Shreveport Times
  • Crawley asks questions

    School board member Charlotte Crawley asks key questions during a regular meeting of the board including Visas, housing arrangements and how much the teachers would have to pay the company.
    Staff don't have all the answers. She asks that they find out and report back. They never do. Source: The Shreveport Times
  • Shreveport learns about the teachers

    A Shreveport Times article reports that 42 teachers were hired from the Philippines to fill key positions in math, science, special education, and English.
    Eventually only 41 show up. Later the district says there were 43 teachers total. Source: The Shreveport Times
  • Jefferson-bound teachers arrive

    14 Filipino bound teachers arrive in Jefferson Parish. Source: American Federation of Teachers
  • First day of school in Caddo Parish

    First day of school in Caddo Parish
    Caddo Parish starts the school year and the teachers have not yet arrived.
    Some are concerned about a portion of the teacher's salary going to Universal Placement International.
    School board member Tammy Phelps said: "It appears like we were just trying to put bodies in a classroom, and we never want to do that. We should have known exactly when they were going to be here want what their qualifications were." Source: The Shreveport Times
  • Information sought

    Information sought
    Jackie Lansdale, president of the Caddo Federation of Teachers and Support Personnel submits an open records request to learn more about the district's visit and decision to hire Filipino teachers.

    Among the questions answered in her request was:
    Who approved the leave for administrators to go to the Philipines? Answer: Wanda Gunn, who was interim superintendent then.
  • First group of Caddo-bound teachers arrive

    First group of Caddo-bound teachers arrive
    The first group of Filipino teachers, 4, arrive. Ten more arrived by Sept. 9, and 8 more Sept. 11.
    Once they arrived, the teachers spent two days learning classroom management teachniques and other district policies and procedures. Source: AFT Complaint
    Source: The Shreveport Times
  • First notice from Navarro

    Ingrid Cruz gets her first notice to pay her late placement fee. Other notices follow on Nov. 17 and Dec. 8. Source: AFT complaint
  • East Baton Rouge officials go to the Philippines*

    *Estimated time
    Six East Baton Rouge officals take a recruiting trip to the Philippines. The trip costs $20,241.90 Source: Louisiana Federation of Teachers complaint
  • Teachers gather online

    Pinoy Teachers Hub BlogThree Louisiana Filipino teachers start a blog. Using other names, the group tells the world about their experiences with Universal Placement International and Lourdes "Lulu" Navarro. Source: Pinoy Teachers Hub Blog
  • 38 down, 4 left

    By this time, 38 teachers have arrived in the Caddo Parish School District The district expected four more to arrive. Source: The Shreveport Times
  • Cruz gives her account

    Ingrid Cruz, one of the teachers who was assigned to East Baton Rouge, gives a delaration of her experiences with UPI and Lourdes Navarro. The document is an attempt to strike Navarro's legal action against her. Source: AFT Complaint
  • School year ending

    School year ending
    Caddo Parish School District officials hear positive reports of the teacher's abilities as the school year closes.
    Principal Al Graham said at the time: "I'm impressed with the work ethic and the ability. Parents have been supportive of them." Source: The Shreveport Times
  • Second year

    Second year
    The first day of school for 2009-2010. Soon, most teachers will reach their one year mark. Source: The Shreveport Times
  • Complaints filed

    Complaints filed
    The Louisiana Federation of Teachers file complaints with the Louisiana Workforce Commission and the Louisiana Attorney General. Source: The Shreveport Times, Louisiana Federation of Teachers
  • School district responds

    School district responds
    Caddo Parish School District hold a press conference to respond to state union's complaints. Dawkins said: “I am shocked and outraged any agency would treat anyone like that,” Dawkins said, adding that he has talked with a couple of teachers and he has found some of the allegations to be true. He said Caddo will launch an investigation tonight. “We will certainly find if this will affect the livelihood of the teachers.” Source: The Shreveport Times
  • Caddo Parish hires attorney

    The Caddo Parish School Board meets to hire Austin-based attorney Mark Murov, and the firm of Murov and Ward. Murov is an immigration attorney. Source: The Shreveport Times
  • Caddo board pays teachers

    The Caddo Parish School Board agreed to pay $1,660 to each Filipino teacher recruited by Universal Placement International to apply for each teacher's H-1B visa. The action also reserves $400,000 for "reimbursement for any potential claims sustained" by the teachers. Source: The Shreveport Times
  • Federal complaint filed

    The American Federation of Teachers files a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and House Division. The union claims that UPI and the parish school districts --Caddo, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, and the Recovery School District in New Orleans--repeated violated the Immigration and Nationality Act. Source: AFT Complaint