DOE staff threatened Dominican teachers with deportation

Bilingual educators who were brought from the Dominican Republic to work for the city’s Department of Education were told by a middle school teacher to shut up — or be banned from the program — over the high cost of the rooms they had to rent. they told The Post.

The Dominican recruits said Rosse Mary Savery, a teacher at MS 80 in the Bronx under Principal Emmanuel Polanco, warned them not to tell a soul that they paid $1,350 to $1,450 a month for a single room in apartments where they rented a room Share kitchen and bathroom with co-workers.

“She told us we can’t talk to anyone about the rent. That was the main thing she said: “Don’t talk to anyone. Don’t tell anyone how much you’re paying,'” one teacher quoted Savery as saying.

Currently, 19 Dominican teachers are housed in the Bronx in three dormitories operated by the Association of Dominican American Supervisors and Administrators — a fraternal group of DOE directors and other employees.

As reported by The Post, ADASA housed 11 Dominican teachers in a two-family house it rented on Baychester Avenue and three in a co-op on Marion Avenue that city records list as the property of Polanco’s mother, Juana Polanco-Abreu.

Emmanuel Polanco and his wife take between $1,350 and $1,400 a month from each of the tenants.
Richard Harnus

However, according to a source who attended her funeral, Polanco-Abreu died a few years ago. City officials could not explain why she is still named as the owner of the property.

Polanco and his wife Sterling Báez, 32, a DOE elementary school teacher in the Bronx, collect $1,350 to $1,400 a month from each tenant on Marion Avenue.

Another five teachers – and the husband of one – are housed in half a semi-detached house on Pilgrim Avenue in the Bronx.

With the exception of the couple, who share a room, each person pays $1,350 to $1,450 a month for a single room while sharing the kitchen and bathroom. They usezelle, a banking app, to pay their rent to ADASA Treasurer and DOE Administrator Daniel Calcaño, sources said.

They are expected to share a kitchen and bathroom.
Teachers are forced to pay via cell to stay in the dorm.
JC Reis

After the teachers’ requests for receipts for their rent payments went unanswered, they sent an email asking Calcaño, Polanco and Savery to meet to discuss their concerns about the costs.

In response, Savery called the request “a threat” that could jeopardize her US visas and her chances of bringing families to New York, a teacher recalled.

“If you don’t want to get into trouble with your family, you need to write back in that email and say you wouldn’t be attending the meeting,” Savery said, according to a teacher.

Amid a widening scandal surrounding the Dominican teacher program, the DOE removed Polanco, ADASA’s first vice president, from MS 80 this month. Last week, three ADASA board members — Polanco, Calcaño, and Jay Fernandez — abruptly removed Socorro Diaz, the organization’s president fire.

Baez is an elementary school teacher in the Bronx.
Sterling Baez, Polanco’s wife, was criticized for the high rent.
Sterling Baez/Facebook

In a letter to ADASA members obtained by The Post, Diaz said, “I have invested heavily in this organization and I loved the organization’s original mission statement.”

Sources say Diaz’s removal was an act of retaliation because Diaz helped put two teachers in touch with authorities after they complained to her in early October that they were being forced to live in ADASA shelters and pay high rents.

“She did the right thing,” a DOE insider said of Diaz’s actions. Diaz declined to comment.

In late October, a teacher who Savery said she was looking for less costly living arrangements soon received a letter from Marianne Mason, executive director of the Cordell Hull Foundation for International Education — a New York-based group that funds teacher visas. The letter said her visa had been canceled and she had two days to leave the US, sources said.

The teacher consulted attorneys who confirmed that Cordell Hull did not have the authority to cancel her visa. But she temporarily lost her job at a Bronx school after Savery spoke to the principal.

“The principal spoke to her without investigating and said, ‘You have to leave the school because Savery told me it’s illegal to have you here,'” a friend of the teacher said.

Rosse Mary Savery works under Polanco at MS 80.
Rosse Mary Savery was the one who threatened the Dominican teachers, the recruits said.

As authorities began investigating allegations that ADASA had intimidated the newcomers and possibly profited from the rents, the same teacher received another letter from Cordell Hull this month telling her, without explanation, that she could return to work.

Savery – one of the Dominican teachers’ key contacts – “disappeared” after investigations began, they said.

Savery did not respond to the Post’s request for comment. Polanco, Fernandez and Calcaño also didn’t respond to messages.

Mason has attributed the teachers’ complaints to “culture shock” and “misunderstandings,” telling the Post, “You’re lying.” DOE staff threatened Dominican teachers with deportation


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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