Teachers fight for paychecks at Derrick Thomas' bankruptcy hearing

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - When Derrick Thomas Academy closed at the end of May, school leaders promised teachers would be paid through June.

The end of June came and several teachers still had not received their final paychecks.

DTA then filed for bankruptcy at the beginning of August.

According to the bankruptcy documents, liabilities add up between $10 million and $50 million.

"The debtor attorney explained to me that we should be able to get a portion of our wages. They're not guaranteeing all of it, but a portion," former DTA teacher Janet Nash-McKamie said.

On Friday evening, the teachers were still waiting to learn the fate of their final paycheck.

Only one teacher and a couple vendors turned out for the bankruptcy hearing here at the federal courthouse.

The hearing lasted about 30 minutes.

The interim trustee told both sides that this is a very complicated case and she needs to hire counsel to assist.

However, some DTA teachers who were picked up by Alan Village charter school did receive the amount of their final paychecks in the form of a signing bonus for following DTA's last principal Phyllis Washington to Allen Village.

The one former teacher, who turned out today, Amy Devries, is disappointed she didn't get any answers about the money DTA still owes her.

"It was almost kind of a letdown. Kind of a waste," Devries said.

After the hearing, attorneys for Derek Thomas Academy told 41 Action News that the reason they filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is so that teachers would get some if not all of the salary that is owed to them.

The next hearing is scheduled for later this month.

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