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.

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