Detroit in a downward spiral as budget dries up

Last Updated May 3, 2016 6:39 AM EDT

DETROIT -- Detroit has been breaking down, bit by bit, before our eyes. On Monday, most of its students could not go to school and on Tuesday, the taps will go dry for thousands.

As always, money is the issue. There's not nearly enough to go around.

Almost all Detroit schools closed in teacher sick out

Thousands of Detroit teachers walked off their jobs Monday in a wage dispute, forcing 94 out of 97 city schools to close and leaving more than 47,000 students out of class.

"We're being told our school system is basically broke," said Ivy Bailey, the interim teachers union president.

The sick out was called because the city schools are expected to run out of cash July 1st. No money for the teachers, and no funding for summer school or special education programs.

The sickout was supposed to be for one day, but on Monday night, the union called on its members to stay off the job Tuesday, as well. On Tuesday, the school system announced that 93 schools would be closed, reports CBS Detroit.

Detroit's school district, which has dilapidated buildings crawling with mold and infested with rodents, has been in debt for several years now. It has stayed afloat by asking for short-term loans from the state, which it now owes $3.5 billion.

Michigan state legislators are debating the merits of a bail-out package that could tide the teachers over, but right now the money isn't there.

"They need to put themselves in our shoes. They need to act like they're a parent and their child goes to Detroit public schools," said Bailey. "What type of school system would you want your child to be going to?"

The schools are hardly Detroit's only problem.

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Detroit residents wait in line to set up payment plans for their water bills CBS News

For the last few days, thousands of people lined up to make sure they are not deprived of a basic necessity of life -- water.

But starting Tuesday at 8 a.m., Detroit -- a city of 700,000 people -- will turn off the water for the 20,000 households which still have not paid their bill and not chosen to take advantage of payment plans the city is offering.

Fifty-three-year-old Fay lost her nursing job two years ago, and a bad hip has left her immobile, unable to find work, and unable to pay her $1,800 water bill.

"I feel destitute, I feel like I'm in a third county, a third-world country," Fay told CBS News.

On Tuesday, most people in the city will have water, though the status of the city's schools for the day remains unclear. But these issues underline the fact that Motor City still has a long road to recovery.

  • Dean Reynolds

    Dean Reynolds is a CBS News National Correspondent based in Chicago.