(02/21/14) - The Flint School District is trying to stop financial bleeding by
making sure its payroll is up to date.
Hundreds of school employees picked up their paychecks in person, Friday.
There are just more than 1,300 employees on the payroll. There was no direct deposit for any of them on Friday.
A morning session to hand out checks was held at Northwestern Academy. In the afternoon, the line moved to the school administration building.
"It seems everybody's on board. If it's something you have to do, you have to do it. Just go head and do it. It's better to do this, to be inconvenienced like this than be in the unemployment line," said Davey Wade, FSWCA.
"A little inconvenient, but I think it's going to be well worth it for the direction we're going in," said Ondra Stocker, school safety advocate.
"Of course, it's a personal inconvenience," said Dr. Carmela Langley, of Flint Southwestern Classical Academy.
Employees had to show a photo ID that matched with school records.
"I was in line for less than five minutes. I received my check," said Larry Watkins, Jr. interim Flint school superintendent.
The district is still struggling with millions of dollars of debt.
"We just want to check off and get an accurate count of the number of employees we have in our school district," Watkins said.
This has never been done before in Flint. A few years ago, a similar program in the Detroit School District turned up hundreds of so-called 'ghost employees,' people who are receiving paychecks but don't show up for work.
"I have no doubt they will find some, maybe not as much as Detroit because it's not as big a system, but yes, absolutely," Langley said.
"If there are ghost employees, we will proceed as we should. Hopefully, we won't have any ghost employees, but we'll follow up and do a thorough investigation," Watkins said.
The audit should expose anyone who is getting an undeserved check.
"I think this is something that should be done every five years," Langley said.
ABC12 Main Station