Economic and social unrest have plagued Detroit for decades, and thousands have fled the city since the demise of its once-thriving automobile industry. In 2013, Detroit filed for bankruptcy. Poverty permeates the city in visible ways — hundreds of homes and buildings are dilapidated or abandoned, infrastructure is crumbling, and schools are severely underfunded. In Detroit, many students and teachers must attend schools that seemingly couldn't be located in America, but rather only in the disrepair and poverty of the third world.
If you were a teacher at Detroit's Spain Elementary-Middle School, you'd have to sweep up bits of ceiling that fall to the floor when it rains. You'd set up trash cans to catch dripping rainwater in classrooms. You'd tell your students that the gym and pool are off-limits because the district can't afford repairs. And you'd have to tell them that no one's coming to fix anything anytime soon.