Teachers still looking for final paychecks from bankrupt Derrick Thomas Academy charter school

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A group of local teachers still want to know if they will receive their final paychecks from a bankrupt charter school.

Teachers say since Derrick Thomas Academy lost its charter and closed almost a year ago they haven't heard from school leaders. 

Jeff Ward only worked at Derrick Thomas Academy for a year. DTA hired him in July of 2012 to be a physical education teacher.

"We fulfilled our contracts. That's the bottom line," said Ward. "They were right up front and said there was some troubles with the school. I accepted that."     

What Ward and other former teachers can't accept is they've still never received their final paycheck.

"I had plans for it. I still have plans for it," he said.

The building now stands empty. The charter filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy last August.  DTA claimed liabilities between $10 and $50 million. Teachers say a spokesperson for DTA promised teachers would get at least a portion of their final paycheck.

"My understanding is an order went out to pay the teachers and the trustee and it just hasn't been done," said Ward.

The court-appointed trustee, Maureen Scully, responded to a request for comment via email

"As to your question when the former teachers should expect to be paid please remember that this case was filed as a no asset case by the Debtor and there is less than $3,000.00 on hand."

The attorney for the trustee said it's a matter of trying to recovery enough assets to pay the teachers even a portion of their final paychecks.

"That's not very good news," said Ward. "In fact, that's pretty depressing because like I said we haven't been contacted by anybody."

The trustee has two years to recover any assets that could be used to pay for those final paychecks.

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