Economy

The Outrageous Way Detroit Is Spending Millions While Its Schools Crumble

February 19th 2016

By:
Kyle Jaeger

As public schools in Detroit continue to crumble for lack of funding, the city is back in the spotlight over it's controversial decision to allocate $285 million toward a new hockey arena.

This latest uproar stems from allegations of shady dealings in the generous stadium deal inked between the city and the Detroit Red Wings hockey organization.

school

According to Gawker, former city employee George Jackson, who helped broker the deal, resigned from his position and now owns a private contracting company that is working on the stadium project with Mike Illitch, who owns the Red Wings.

Controversy over alleged conflicts of interest aside, the fact that the city has invested so heavily in the hockey arena project has itself become a source of frustration for Detroit residents. While developers argue that the stadium will drive revenue to the surrounding area, some feel the money would be better spent on the city's underfunded school system.

Here's what the development project will look like.

stadium

And here are some photos of public schools in Detroit.

Back to the hockey arena.

stadium

And here's another photo taken by a Detroit teacher.

Once more, here's the multi-million dollar arena.

Detroit

And here's a photo of fungi growing inside a classroom.

Spot the disparity?

ATTN: recently reported on the closure of 88 Detroit public schools due to a district-wide "sickout," which was organized by teachers who were protesting poor school conditions and a lack of communication from officials. Photos were shared throughout social media of worn out facilities. Teachers spoke out about public health concerns, raising national attention to the financial challenges facing the city's educational system.

Meanwhile, the city has poured millions into sports enterprises and real estate development projects, including the 45-block area that's being called "The Detroit District" (where the stadium is being constructed), Yahoo News reported. For a city that declared bankruptcy just three years ago, the investment has raised questions about who is really benefiting from Detroit's public funds.

Watch the video highlighting the Red Wings' luxurious new stadium project here: