Teachers at Detroit's Hamilton Academy say they won't receive last paycheck as school closes

Board member questioned about claims

A group of Detroit teachers say days before the end of the school year, they were told they wouldn't receive their last paycheck.

DETROIT – Hamilton Academy, a charter school run by Educational Partnerships Incorporated, is closing. 

Several teachers there said they were told just four days before the end of school year, that they would not receive their last paycheck. 

“Four days before the end of the school year. We were informed that we, the teachers would not be receiving our last pay check,” said Samantha Nawrocki. 

It’s a situation Nawrocki, a teacher at Hamilton Academy, said is just not fair. She said they worked all year, and they earned their last paycheck. 

“I worked here for six years and for five summers, I always received my pay. They claim they have run out of money, and will not be able to pay our last paycheck,” said Nawrocki. 

The charter school is closing and Detroit Public Schools will take over in the fall, but that is months without a paycheck. 

“The lost income is going to have a really negative impact on my family. I already cancelled a family vacation. I already had to withdraw her from a ballet company,” said Sarah Street. 

Saturday, several teachers took their concerns to the board, in a meeting. They demanded the board reconsider and approve the budget, but those demands went unanswered. The board didn’t change their minds.

Local 4's Larry Spruill reached out to Board Member Arthur Burt for answers. The interview was transcribed and can be read below: 

Spruill: So is there not any money in the budget to pay the teachers?

Burt: Um, I believe money was, money is in the budget to pay the teachers, up to a certain extent. 

Spruill: These teachers are saying they’re not going to get their last paycheck. Why?

Burt: Well, there’s no money. The money has run out. 

Larry: Is that fair, that the teachers worked all year, and they’re not going to get paid? 

Burt: No, no, I don’t think it’s fair. I don’t think it’s fair at all.