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UPDATE: Teachers at Art Institute not being paid

Students and parents say they have seen ominous signs that the Las Vegas Art Institute is in danger of closing down
Posted at 8:52 AM, Apr 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-04 15:33:36-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — UPDATE MAY 4: Students and teachers are getting a little extra help in trying to keep the Art Institute open.

Congresswoman Susie Lee visited the school on Friday.

The parent company decided to close the school a few months ago but teachers fought to keep it open.

But, because of bankruptcy and other financial complications, teacher say they were not paid at all in April.

Congresswoman Lee says she is working to help keep the Las Vegas school open.

After being saved from closure, spring classes at the Art Institute of Las Vegas are in session.

"It's not April Fools, it's for real," said Professor William Turbay. "They might get some money back but who can get three, fours years back."

Professor Turbay spearheaded the movement to keep the school open.

"This is a growing town and not to have a school like this is ridiculous," he said.

It all began in January of 2019 with a sudden announcement that the school doors would close on March 31.

RELATED: Students worry Art Institute of Las Vegas may close down

13 Action News has uncovered court documents that show the parent company that operates the network of Art Institute locations, Dream Center Education Holdings L.L.C., is in serious debt.

Paperwork shows the company was estimated to lose $60 million this year.

"It's like the instructors for me, me being in the culinary program, they really do care about how you're going to be when you get out of school," says student Esmerelda Orozco.

The institute gives folks in the valley a chance to learn applied arts including culinary, interior design, marketing and gaming.

RELATED: Students react after Art Institute of Las Vegas announces closure

Professor Turbay says he is among others associated with the Institute who signed an agreement to take control of the school before the final closure could take place.

"We're giving out degrees, we're testing students, we're failing students if they don't study. We're a regular school all over again," he said.

The school says they are working with the the Department of Education to finalize the separation from the owner.