Many teachers at Derrick Thomas Academy left without a paycheck

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It's been over a month since the last day of school, but many teachers at Derrick Thomas Academy are still waiting for their paychecks—many are also without health insurance.

"This is the worst situation," one former Derrick Thomas Academy teacher said.

These former teachers wanted to remain unidentified, but wanted to tell their story and experiences at the now closed school.

"It's frustrating. You spend your time working at a place that you truly love and you see things that fall apart over the course of year. Things that are out of your control, things that are out of the students' control," she said.

Last Friday, most of the teachers discovered their final paychecks were never deposited. The DTA attorney didn't send them an e-mail to alert them until early that afternoon.

"We were under contract through June 30," one teacher said.

"I worked my butt off and I know all of these teachers here did and i just want justice to be served. We worked for that money, we earn that money we don't have the money to not have that money," another teacher said.

"We live on a very tight budget, so going without a paycheck might not be hard for a lot of people, but a teacher, it hits us hard," one said.

The principal at Allen Village Charter School, Phyllis Washington, was named interim principal at Derrick Thomas Academy at the end of last year after the school lost its sponsor.

Principal Washington was called at her office at Allen Village, where she said to call DTA's attorney before hanging up.
41 Action News reached out to DTA attorney Dana Cutler last Friday and was told she won't return to the office until July 10th.

"It breaks my heart that this one didn't work. But i want those kids to be proud that they came here and i want them to be proud that they were taught by us and i want them to take what they've learned and go on and accomplish their dreams."

After contacting the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, a spokesperson said the money owed to the teachers is being held by the court because of pending litigation between DTA and the Edison Learning Center.

Trust us to continue to follow this developing situation and bring you updates.

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