Detroit Water Crisis

Detroit Water Crisis


Detroit (CNN)President Barack Obama will visit Detroit on Wednesday to highlight a resurgence in the auto industry, but all eyes will be on how he addresses the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, and Detroit’s education funding problems.

Obama plans to have lunch with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, where it’s likely the pair will discuss the city’s school closures, and larger funding problems, according to the White House.

Eighty-three Detroit public schools — or roughly 80% of those in the system — will not be open Wednesday because of “high teacher absences,” the latest instance of teachers and staff calling in sick to call attention to what they see as inadequate funding.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, in his State of the State address on Tuesday said that Detroit Public Schools are in a funding crisis, adding that, “The time to act is now … Detroit schools are in need of a transformational change.”

Flint water crisis

Obama is not expected to visit Flint while in Detroit. On Tuesday, he met with Mayor Karen Weaver at the White House to discuss the water crisis.

RELATED: Flint resident on water crisis: ‘This is an embarrassment’

In a description of the meeting, the White House said Obama “heard firsthand how the residents of Flint are dealing with the ongoing public health crisis, and the challenges that still exist for the city, its residents, and the business community.”

Flint, the birthplace of General Motors that once employed 80,000 autoworkers, but which now faces widespread poverty after auto jobs largely left the city, has been reeling from the discovery that its water contains dangerously high levels of lead.

The revelation has led to accusations of government negligence and political cover-ups. Focus has honed in on Snyder, who opponents claim took too long to respond when tests indicated high levels of lead in Flint’s drinking water.

The issues have hit the presidential campaign to replace Obama, with the Democratic primary front-runner Hillary Clinton slamming Snyder and receiving Weaver’s endorsement. Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders has called for the governor’s resignation.