Former ACE Teachers Say They’re Being Stiffed Over Paychecks

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Former teachers and staff at the Afrikan-Centered Education charter school say that they are wondering if the dog ate their paychecks

The teachers say that somebody - either ACE or the Kansas City Missouri School District - is stiffing them, and now they are wondering if they will ever see the money that's owed to them.

"I have three kids," said Bridget Williams, a former science teacher at ACE. "I have bills just like everyone else does. No one becomes a teacher to become rich. No one become a teacher because it is a glorious jobs. However, we did the work, we did an excellent job and the teachers deserve to be paid."

But Williams says that according to an email she received from ACE Board of Directors chairman Ajamu Webster, she and her fellow teachers won't be paid as scheduled on Friday. In the email, Webster says, in part,  "KCPS decided not to release funds that are currently owed to ACETI, so payment will be delayed."

Webster and ACE did not return calls from FOX 4 for comment.

"It is unfair," said Williams. "It is unfortunate that we're caught in the middle between ACE and the Kansas City Public Schools. We really aren't sure which side is telling us the full truth. At this point, we just want to be done. We want the issue resolved. We just want to be paid for the work we've already completed."

The rift between ACE and the Kansas City School District isn't new. Last fall, ACE task force took the district to court when it said Kansas City wasn't paying the money it owed. Then in March, the district cut ties with ACE when it canceled the contract that bound them together.

The district has since taken over the ACE campus, despite protests from parents, students and staff.

In a statement, KCPS officials said that the district is investigating what, if any, money it still owes ACE. The district says that ACE should still pay the teachers what they are owed for the school year they worked while that verification work continues.

ACE still owes its teachers three more paychecks for the 2011-12 school year.

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