NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. (CBS) — A school district in Lake County had to reach halfway around the world in its search for new bilingual teachers.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, the growing trend is necessitated by the increasing Spanish-speaking population in the area.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

But North Chicago Community Unit School District 187 has a shortage of qualified bilingual teachers, the Lake County News-Sun reported. That sent recruiters to Spain, where they found eight new teachers, the newspaper reported.

The district now has about 800 students in bilingual classes – an increase of about 250 in three years, the News-Sun reported.

The newspaper reports most of the teachers have master’s degrees and speak multiple languages, and are better qualified than those of the local talent pool.

During a trip to Madrid in the spring, recruiters from North Chicago ran into recruiters from several other states, also trying to find qualified bilingual teachers, the News-Sun reported.

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