HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Schools across the nation are struggling to hire teachers but the city of Hartford is getting ahead of the shortage by recruiting educators from thousands of miles away.

Hartford Public Schools is bringing in 13 new bilingual teachers from Puerto Rico.

According to Dr. Madeline Negro, the Chief of Academics in Hartford, 55% of the students in the Hartford School District are Latino or Hispanic, with many of them of Puerto Rican descent.

With the backing of the Travelers Foundation, the Hartford Public School District started the Paso a Paso (Step by Step) Teacher Recruitment Program.

The district is now welcoming more than a dozen bilingual educators from Puerto Rico. Important on many levels according to the Superintendent of Public Schools in Hartford, Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez.

“One because yes, we can add to the number of teachers that we need but also because we really are focused on diversifying our staff, and we know that a diverse staff all of our students benefit. Not just students that have a Latino, Hispanic heritage or background,” said Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez.