DETROIT – Detroit Public Schools will be unable to continue paying its employees after June 30, according to an email sent by Ivy Bailey of the Detroit Federation of Teachers.
Bailey's statement said the district has enough cash to make payroll through June 30 for all employees, but after that point, the district will not be able to continue paying employees.
"When Judge Steven Rhodes informed me of this today, I insisted that we meet on Monday with DPS leadership and financial officials to develop a solution to this problem," Bailey said. "We will be reaching out to all of our members who are on a 26-check pay program in the coming days."
Teachers told Local 4 they're already working for free if they aren't going to be paid through the summer. A meeting is scheduled for Sunday.
DPS Transition Manager Steven Rhodes said the $48.7 million in supplemental funding recently passed by the Michigan Legislature will provide enough funding for DPS to pay all employees through the end of the fiscal year June 30.
"However, without the passage of the more comprehensive $715 million education reform package that is now being considered by the Michigan House of Representatives, there will be no funds available to pay DPS employees -- those teachers on a 26-pay cycle included," Rhodes said in a statement. "There also will be no funds available for the district to conduct summer school or provide the year-round special education services that a number of our students rely on. I urge our legislators to act thoughtfully, but with the urgency that this situation demands."
"We are continuing our fight, together with our community, to secure a solution to the debt crisis facing Detroit Public Schools before June 30," Bailey said.
Sharon Anderson will now start brainstorming with her daughter options if DPS runs out money.
"My grandchildren do attend summer school programs," Anderson said. "The first thing I think about is where's the money? Where's money going?"
The DFT will hold an emergency membership meeting Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at the Impact Church at 12844 Elmdale Street.
A conference will be held outside the church at 3:30.
Teacher 'freaked out' by email from union
“Freaked out, is the best way to describe it. And really shocked when we saw the email,” said Jennifer Menzer, an 8th grade English teacher at Munger School.
Menzer has been teaching in the district for 15 years. She opted for the 26 payments so she’d still get a paycheck in the summer. In March, when the Michigan Senate and House approved $48.7 million in emergency state funding for DPS, aimed towards helping the district remain open the rest of the school year, Menzer raised concerns.
"Talked to the union and they said, ‘No, if we get the money that we need, people who have 26 pays and get the pay over the summer would get paid,'" she said.
Watch Local 4 News and stay with ClickOnDetroit.com for updates on this developing story.
Federal corruption probe continues
Meanwhile, 13 former Detroit Public Schools principals are accused of taking kickbacks from a contractor. The first in a line pleaded guilty this past week and could be sentenced to at least three years in prison.
Clara Smith's plea was accepted Thursday in federal court. She is scheduled to be sentenced in September, and could get 46 to 57 months in prison.
Smith was the principal of Thirkell Elementary-Middle School from 2008-2016. She and other principals are accused of scheming with district vendor Norman Shy.
Overall, the U.S. Attorney's Office says 11 guilty pleas so far are scheduled in April and May, including deals with nine principals. The man at the center of the probe, Shy, is scheduled to plead guilty on May 11.
Federal investigators said that because of the scheme, the district paid thousands of dollars for auditorium chairs, supplemental teaching material, raised line paper and other classroom supplies that either never arrived or came in smaller quantities than ordered.