What Everyone’s Missing About Detroit’s Teacher Situation: I’ve Already Earned That Money

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This is a guest post from a Detroit Public Schools teacher.

I want to explain a very important piece of this DPS issue that some may not realize, and that media outlets are not detailing.

As teachers, we are hired as nine month employees. Our salary is for nine months of work. We are given the option of whether we’d like to take that salary in 22 pays, or have it extended the full year in 26 pays.

The majority of teachers, of course, elect the 26 pays to keep checks coming through the summer. So no, we are not just getting paid to be on vacation, those checks that come in the summer are monies we earned in those nine months of the school year and have simply elected to have it distributed differently.

That being said, April 28 was the last working day the district can guarantee we’ll be paid for. This means we already worked last Friday potentially for free.

But! While this definitely affects what we will potentially earn for the rest of the school year, it affects money WE’VE ALREADY EARNED as well. If none of this was happening, and I just up and resigned from DPS today, they would STILL owe me that extra money that has been being withheld for my summer checks, because it is money I have ALREADY EARNED and just opted for them to hold it for the summer for me.

If DPS truly has no more cash coming for payroll (which honestly, I don’t believe – it is a scare tactic to get terrible legislation passed through that will give us money now but screw us all over even harder in the long run) – but if they truly have no more payroll coming, not only are they saying I have no opportunity to earn anything for the rest of the year, but they’re also saying that I will not receive this set aside money that I’ve ALREADY EARNED. Which is illegal as illegal can be, of course.

So it’s not just an issue of them having no money to pay us today, it’s an issue of them not releasing money we’ve already earned as well.

Editor’s Note: Carole Hoste is a Detroit Public Schools teacher. This post is used with the express permission of the authorDaily Detroit welcomes guest contributions as a platform for furthering the Detroit conversation. If you have one of your own, get in touch.

  • Am i mistaken or isn’t money collected from lottery games supposed to go to funding schools as well ?

    • The Michigan Lottery has always been misrepresented as a money maker for schools. Actually, the lottery was set up to help the state balance its budget. The more money is made by the lottery, the less money the state has to take out of the general fund for education. It never really resulted in more money for education. It just created an additional source of revenue for the state, so that the state wouldn’t have to use as much of the money from their other funding sources towards education.

      • I am from Virginia and in North Carolina. I don’t know of any school systems that benefit from the lottery Detroit needs to step up and pay their teachers. Oh wait I know, maybe the governor and senators should give up their pay to help the teachers

  • What was stated in my state (Indiana) to get people to support legalizing the lottery was “Lottery profits COULD be used for education” so, of course, it COULD be used elsewhere, which it was.

  • This whole situation is ####ing ridiculous!

    Rick Snyder’s Michigan is incompetently governed, corrupt as H+E+two hockey sticks.

    The Emergency Manger is, mostly, just a tool to protect the bond holders who are Snyder’s friends and family. Detroit is the exception in which Kevin Orr managed to make the pain closer to equal.
    But by and large these EM situations are failing because the only interest being served is protect the creditors money at any and all costs even if it means hosing poor and working people like teachers, poisoning citizens including children.

    This is the beginning of the end of America when we cannot effectively govern ourselves because we’ve become so inculcated in an ideology that we are incapable of recognizing reality.

    The US is slowly failing as a state because it refuses to govern itself effectively, instead it governs itself ideologically.

    This ruined the USSR, most of the Middle East, the British Empire, Rome, etc.

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