3 States That Have Public Schools as Bad as Detroit's

March 20th 2016

Brendan Scully

In the last few months, the nation's spotlight has been on Michigan. First, it was the water crisis in Flint. Now, the state's public schools are under fire as images leak of the decrepit state of public schools in Detroit.

Teachers in the Motor City organized mass “sickouts” and are actively protesting the state of current learning conditions in hopes to spark some sort of positive change.

Pictures on social media highlight the poor state of these schools.

This video looks at Spain Elementary/Middle School, one of the many Detroit schools in need of serious repairs.

Turns out, Detroit isn't the only city whose schools have infrastructure problems. Here are three other cities with crumbling schools.

1. Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania schools with major problems

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers shared images in December from a segment on Al Jazeera’s “America Tonight" that focused on the poor physical conditions of the city's classrooms. The images depicted elementary school classrooms in need of repair.

Al Jazeera sat down with Danielle Floyd, the school district's director of capital programs, who cited a multi-million dollar budget shortfall as a reason for many of the problems, telling Al Jazeera, "there’s really a big challenge between our outstanding need and our ability to be able to address it."

2. Maryland

Students of Prince George's County Public Schools in Maryland took to social media and the local news station in September to share images of moldy and undercooked food in their school lunches.

In Baltimore, problems with the heating and cooling systems in the city's aging buildings led to early dismissal last month in at least three schools.

City officials have since fixed the faulty systems, however, it seems like a temporary fix. The average boiler system in Baltimore is said to be 50 years old, meaning future problems are sure to arise in the future.

3. Texas

In Dallas, students staged a public demonstration over the poor conditions at South Oak Cliff High School, demanding a new school comparable to other high schools in the suburbs that lie outside the city limits.

The video below details more of the students' protest against the Dallas school district.


Education is always a central theme in political elections. So far in the 2016 campaign, presidential contenders from both parties have proposed solutions to problems facing the education system in America, such as tuition-free college or expanding charter schools. But there have been few proposed solutions to the failing infrastructure in our country's schools, which is clearly an issue. A poor learning environment for children doesn't lead to success, it prevents academic growth.