Pontiac school teachers losing health insurance and district's attorney and accountant were let go

PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) - The Pontiac public schools are in a financial crisis and trying to avoid a state takeover, but things seemed to take a turn for the worse at Tuesday night's school board meeting.

Teachers were warned they will lose their health insurance at the end of July and the board did not renew the contract of an instrumental person to the school's operations. 

At the end of the meeting, things were out of hand with the public confronting board members and trustees fighting amongst each other.

The outrage started with the board voting to let go of Tim Gardner. Gardner is the district's attorney, head of human resources, and accountant. Thursday he is out. 

"That's how things shake out sometimes," said Tim Gardner. When asked if anyone else in the district can do his job he responded with, "Not right now, but I'm sure they have some plans," he said.

The other point of contention is that teachers will lose their health insurance at the end of July.  The district has not paid the majority of their bills to one health insurance company for the past several months and owes them millions.

"I have a lot of concerned members right now.  We are going to be having a general membership meeting with them this week to answer questions and address their concerns," said Aimee McKeever, Pontiac Education Association president.

Contracts for the teachers are up in five days and the union was supposed to begin bargaining with the district.  Gardner was the point person.

When we tried to ask Interim Superintendent Kelley Williams about the problems facing her district, she told us she could not talk because she was leaving the building.  When asked how they were going to function she said they were okay and then she refused to answer any other questions and walked away.

The district's 33 teaching assistants had their health insurance canceled back in March.

McKeever tells 7 Action News she has an emergency meeting in Lansing Wednesday with the insurance company to determine if there is anything that can be done for her members.

The state already has their eye on the Pontiac district.  The district's deficit has grown to more than $37.5 million dollars and has found there to be a probable financial stress.  

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