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Is a Valley school district out of money?

Posted at 10:35 PM, Feb 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-01 08:35:47-05

Murphy Elementary School District, with four schools in southwest Phoenix, is facing major financial trouble and the superintendent just announced his retirement.

Several teachers, telling ABC15 that school officials told them that they don't have any money left to fund the district after March and they may be out of a job after spring break. 

"When kids are involved, and you have to try to explain this time then, it's almost impossible," said sixth-grade teacher Rob Rubino.

Rubino teaches at William R. Sullivan Elementary. He was one of many teachers given the grim news. 

"There is no more money for the district to run itself past March," Rubino said. "How is that possible?"

District officials confirmed Wednesday that superintendent Jose Diaz has retired. 

We followed several teachers as they promoted a proposed pay cut a couple of weeks ago. 

But now, many teachers are facing an even more uncertain future. Many teachers put money away in so-called "balloon checks," hoping for a bigger payout before summer. And now many say they've been told that money may possibly be gone too. 

"Who works for money that their job said they would hold for them and then find out that it's gone," Rubino said. "Especially as a teacher?"

State Senator Catherine Miranda, who represents this area, confirmed the district is having financial problems and believes it has to do with poor leadership and mishandling of money. 

Miranda said they are working on a possible legislative proposal that could fund the district through June or July but nothing is concrete. 

"We don't want to go anywhere," Rubino said. "This wasn't our fault. We didn't want to be forced to leave our kids."

Teachers say the kids could be consolidated to other schools.

ABC15 has many calls in and is working to get answers from the district and county and state officials.