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Closed Detroit charter school will pay teachers after all

a classroom of empty colorful chairs
Flickr user Frank Juarez
Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
Cuts are in the works for Michigan's K-12 public schools.

Teachers from a closing Detroit charter school are relieved to find out they will be paid, after being told there wasn’t enough money for their final paychecks.  

Hamilton Academy is run by Education Partnerships Incorporated, a charter school company that took it over from Detroit Public Schools because of the school’s low performance.

In an email to the teachers last Thursday, the superintendent and owner, Jefferson Hamlin, said the closing fees and termination of teachers' contracts meant they couldn't pay teachers for the remaining term.

Hamilton Academy is being turned over to Detroit Public Schools Community District. 

Sarah Street, a special education teacher for Hamilton Academy, says some teachers didn’t learn of the money issues until four days before the school year ended.

She says board members have been giving teachers little to no explanation about why there's no money left to pay the teachers. 

But Hamlin called staff members on Tuesday to let them know he’d found funding for their payroll.

Hamlin declined to comment on where the money is coming from.


Street says she’s still a little uneasy since they haven’t received anything in writing ensuring their payment. 

“At the end of the day we need to be able to have financial security for our own families as well,” Street said.

Hamlin said in an email almost all of the staff and the principal have already been hired by Detroit Schools for the fall.

Sarah Street said she’s relieved, but she’s learned her lesson. “If you're gonna work for a charter school or a school that's run by a business you might wanna have a lawyer check out your contract before you sign it,” she said.

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