DETROIT (WJBK) - Detroit Public Schools are quickly running out of cash.
It is so bad the district may not be able to pay teachers after April 8 unless lawmakers green light $50 million in aid. Now the school system's new manager is urging lawmakers to take action.
"Us moving forward is of critical importance to me," said interim DPS superintendent Alycia Mariweather.
With just weeks before Detroit Public Schools is expected to run out of money, Mariweather and newly-appointed DPS transitions manager Steven Rhodes on Wednesday are pushing lawmakers in Lansing to pass legislation to save the district.
"It's for me to urge all parties to continue to meet, talk and ultimately compromise," Rhodes said.
Hoping to return DPS to local leaders, Rhodes says other options have been explored to rescue the district but right now, there's no plan B.
"We can't borrow money because that takes money from the classroom," Rhodes said.
And in three weeks DPS could be in the dark, with no money to pay its teachers.
"I cannot, in good conscience, ask these teachers to work after April 8 knowing that I can't pay them and their paychecks are due two weeks later," Rhodes said.
Mariweather says DPS, which is hundreds of millions in debt, closed 150 schools, reduced positions by $10,000 and every teacher is now making less than they did six years ago, has already loaned the city $10,000 each. That's $50 million.
"Have you ever heard of employees who loan money to their company," Mariweather said. "If they're that dedicated, we don't want to lose them."
Rhodes says bankruptcy is never a great option but says he will be forced to agree. He adds that just wiping out the debt -- doesn't solve the real problem.
With the educations of roughly 46,000 kids in their hands Rhodes says those children will always come first.
"We have a Constitutional and a moral obligation to educate our kids," Rhodes said.
Rhodes ended the day with optimism.
"We've already trusted the people of Detroit by giving them the grand bargain and with the bankruptcy plan," Rhodes said. "And we have more reasons to trust them than before so let's trust them."