Richmond school district is being forced to pay $1.5 million in back wages and relocation costs to two former teachers who left the district in the past year, and now are trying to recover from the impact of their departure.
Richmond Public Schools (RPS) CEO Kevin Rucker announced in September that his district had lost the services of three former teachers, who were leaving in the wake of the district’s bankruptcy.
The Richmond School Board said in a letter to Rucker that the teachers would not be able to work as of March 2018 and would be forced to relocate.
The teachers’ former employer, Virginia-based M-Tec Education, agreed to reimburse Rucker and the school board for relocation costs, as well as reimbursing for the costs of their former positions.
But in a report released Friday, Rucker said the district has not yet recovered the full amount of money the former teachers had already spent.
The district’s attorney, Daniel J. Deutsch, said that Rucker had not yet submitted an annual financial report to the school district.
Deutch said that the district had “no information” that the money would be paid out.
Rucker told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that he was unable to make the payments because he was trying to keep his district’s finances in order.
“We’re trying to get a handle on this, to make sure that we can get that money back, because the money that we have now is not going to help us get the students back to where they were before,” Rucker told The News-Dispatch.
“I think what we’re trying do is try to make it as difficult as possible for them to leave, so that we don’t have to pay them out of pocket.
We want them to be financially secure.
That’s why we’re going to be reimbursed.”
Rucker said that he and the Richmond Board of Education are working on a plan to “move forward with a plan that is fair to them, that will provide the district with some financial stability,” but did not provide specifics.
M-TEC Education was acquired by RTS Holdings in 2016 for $20 million.RTS Holdings, which owns M-Tech Schools, was founded in 1998 and was purchased by R-Town Holdings, a company controlled by the former owner of M-Town, for $8.5 billion in 2014.
In an interview with WTVR News in April, M-town founder and CEO Michael Deutsch said that his company has “always paid our fair share” to the Richmond School District.
He also said that while the former M-tec teachers left with a debt, MTS Education paid them out-of-pocket, as opposed to the former owners.
“When we were in the marketplace, we were trying to figure out how we could move forward with our students,” Deutsch told the station.
“We were trying really hard to make our students feel secure, and they ended up being able to do so.”
Richmond’s school board has asked for the teachers’ relocation and reimbursement to be paid in the next three months, but Rucker’s office has not responded.