Not Just Detroit
Considering the recent "sickout" of teachers in Detroit, and referring generally to other teacher issues nationwide: What causes organized angst among public employees? Almost always pay/working conditions. The common thread of all urban areas is infrastructure of physical plant and the personnel. This is all funded by taxes. When cities "rust", the higher tax base flees to more-lucrative communities nearby. Often, the jobs also flee. They all flee high taxes, crime and deterioration. Those remaining in the cities per se often survive on welfare or lessened incomes. This reduces the tax base. Often, homes are simply abandoned for nonpayment of taxes and bills. These properties thus become non-producing for tax purposes. When the tax base cannot support the city bills, the result is underfunding. State and Federal sources must pitch in, until those outside the cities become weary of supporting failing city economies. Detroit and Chicago are prime examples of this cycle. Instead of the remaining residents following the jobs and migrating elsewhere for employment, they remain and accept welfare. Welfare paid by the tax bases outside the cities. Funding is never sufficient to rebuild these cities, they must be sacrificed. Abandoned. Large swathes of these cities must be deconstructed and donated to firms willing to build and provide income. In the more near-term, these urban areas must be depopulated, by encouraging residents to relocate to areas with better job prospects. "Redlining" blighted areas and gradually decreasing welfare and services would eventually encourage a better migration, thus freeing valuable properties for new groups to acquire and prosper.
The current system is incorrect and history shows it fails far too frequently to continue using the current system of importing public funds from outside these cities. Cities must be allowed to fail, so they may rebuild after abandonment.