Kansas City, Missouri, Desegregation Case
This chronology was compiled as a finding aid to a collection of newspaper clippings compiled by Authur A. Benson regarding the Kansas City desegregation case. The notes, titles, and sometimes headlines used were derived from "School Segregation and Desegregation in Kansas City", by Arthur Benson (work in progress, Spring, 1995); the Kansas City Star, four part series "Color of the Class", May 8-11, 1994; and the clipping files of Arthur Benson Papers.
This series consists of newspaper and magazine articles relating to the Kansas City desegregation case and the Kansas City School District. The articles come from a variety of local, state, and national sources. Most promenant as sources are the Kansas City Times, the Kansas City Star, the Kansas City Call, and Kansas City Globes. The clippings illustrate the intricacies of public school policy and politics at work.
May 21, 1977: KC Board of Education approves desegregation plan; authorizes attorneys to file lawsuits against school districts in Missouri and Kansas in first attempt nationally to cross a state line in a metropolitan desegregation case. Lawsuit is also be brought against the federal government and HEW to ensure achievement of desegregation and to force the departments continuation of funds. Plaintiffs are the schoolchildren. District cross-claims against State of Missouri.
Oct. 23, 1983: "KC Desegregation case: What the issues are".
Oct. 31, 1983: First day of trial in suit which seeks the reassignment of students between Kansas City School District and eleven suburban districts. Plaintiffs are represented by twelve KC area students.
Mar. 3, 1984: Analysis in Kansas City Times describes background and information between 1977-1984.
Apr. 2, 1984: U.S. District Judge Russell G. Clark dismisses all eleven suburban school districts from KC suit.
Jun. 14, 1984: Judge Clark officially ends Desegregation trial.
Sept. 1984: Judge Clark finds school district to continually suffer effects of pre-1954 segregation, which State of Missouri has failed to correct.
Jan. 18, 1985: "Main features of desegregation plan". District court enters series of remedy orders, including voluntary busing.
Jun. 14, 1985: "$88 million integration plan ordered", "Desegregation ruling", "Order requires massive changes in KC schools". Establishment of Desegregation Monitoring Committee.
Feb. 4, 1986: "KC voters reject school levy boost".
Apr. 11, 1986: "Plan calls for opening of seven magnet schools".
Apr. 23, 1986: "KC school board rejects magnet plan".
Jun. 16, 1986: "Stronger magnet schools OKd; Integration budget set at $48 million". Judge Clark approves most of Kansas City School Districts plan to upgrade three magnet school programs.
Jul. 20, 1986: "Tough questions, answers on school levy".
Aug. 6, 1986: "KC rejects school levy increase again".
Nov. 4, 1986: High court rejects Desegregation cases; ruling leaves fate of busing plans in doubt".
Nov. 4, 1986: School levy tax increase fails third time.
Nov. 12, 1986: Judge Clark orders most district schools converted to magnet schools.
Jul. 6, 1987: "Judge to order KC desegregation tax"; raised questions of legality in courts imposition of taxes.
Aug. 1, 1987: "School chief gets boost in authority".
Aug. 4, 1987: Dr. George "Garcias first day is busy" as he begins new position as district superintendent. Assigned to post in May, 1987.
Sept. 16, 1987: "KC school levy nearly doubled". Judge Clark also sets tax surcharge. Reactions to ruling range from an outrage to wonderful.
Oct. 5, 1987: Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal of Judge Clarks dismissal of eleven Missouri districts.
Oct. 10, 1987: "Let Kansas students go to magnets, lawyer says". Arthur Benson files motion in District Court stating that the state line should not prohibit interested Kansas students from participating in voluntary interdistrict transfer program.
Dec. 4, 1987: "Negligence and decay in district to be reversed by 1990, official says at forum". Garcia participated in Westport High School forum focusing on Clarks taxation order and consequences to districts future.
Dec. 17, 1987: Richmond, Missouri, "R-XVI board joins protest" along with some 200 other rural Missouri districts in legal protest of court-ordered use of state school funds for desegregation programs in St. Louis and KC.
Dec. 18, 1987: Kansas Governor "Hayden fights KC tax" [income tax surcharge on Kansans working in Missouri.]
Jan. 7, 1988: "U.S. ponders tax case role". U.S. Department of Justice considers filing court papers opposing property and income-tax increases ordered by Judge Clark.
Feb. 1, 1988: "Ashcroft wants to fight desegregation order".
Feb. 2, 1988: "Justice Dept. sides with foes of KC school tax".
Feb. 4, 1988: Federal Appellate "Court refuses to block collection of school tax" rejecting the only legal effort so far to immediately stop collection of taxes ordered.
Mar. 22, 1988: "House argues about funds for desegregation appeals; Legislators OK spending on appeals".
Mar. 23, 1988: U.S. Department of Treasury announces it will comply with Clarks order and withhold a tax surcharge from its employees paychecks, although the department is opposing the tax orders in a Federal Appellate Court.
Apr. 8, 1988: Business leader Ewing Kauffman told eighth graders at Westport Middle School he would pay for their college or vocational education.
May 10, 1988: "Private detectives trail school board members" Stan Cramers Call for Action attempts to expose violations of "Sunshine Law".
May 28, 1988: "Outspoken school board member Julia Hill disrupts with a purpose".
Aug. 19, 1988: "Income tax surcharge thrown out, but ruling gives the KC School District the power to increase property taxes".
Nov. 17, 1988: "KC teachers picket board office; Supplies, salaries among problems being discussed".
Jan. 5, 1989: "Judge orders refund of desegregation tax". Clark says State, not district, to supply money.
Jun. 12, 1989: "Segregation alive and ugly, report says; Even schools in city of landmark case still divided by race" Topeka, Kansas.
Oct. 31, 1989: "Missouri asks [Supreme] court to strike school tax imposed by judge", "Excerpts from arguments in Missouri school case"
Nov. 6, 1989: Legal Times: "Rehnquist Rumbles as Marshall Stumbles" case to watch is Jenkins v. Missouri.
Nov. 21, 1989: "Appeals Court upholds rulings on KC desegregation".
Apr. 3, 1990: Judge Clarks "Court OKs transfer to suburbs; The courts order; Whats it mean".
Apr. 5, 1990: "School plan stirs KC debate".
Apr. 18, 1990: "High court rules judge exceeded authority in ordering tax increase".
Apr. 19, 1990: However, "High Court upholds KC school tax, gives judges way to increase levies; Higher levies possible without any vote by public".
Apr. 19, 1990: Timeline from Kansas City Star: "Excerpts from courts ruling, dissenting opinion".
Sep. 19, 1990: "Garcia to leave by July 31".
Dec. 3, 1990: National Law Journal: "Masters of the long haul; Desegregation fight lawyers signed up for lengthy battle; Whos who: the big players and foot soldiers".
Feb. 20, 1991: "KC hires new school chief; California educator ran model magnet programs" Walter Marks.
Sept. 7, 1991: "Education officials bemoan budget cuts; closings, teacher layoffs foreseen because of $71 million reduction in response to KC ruling".
Feb. 7, 1992: "How did it all happen?" a brief look.
Apr. 17, 1993: "Judge [Clark] denies school plan, calls it extravagant", however extends magnet plan two years with modifications.
May 15, 1993: "Missouri legislators approve education tax increase; Contentious issue on schools is resolved after three years".
Sept. 12, 1993: Kansas City Star series, "Inside our classrooms".
Feb. 27, 1994: CBS 60 Minutes reports on Kansas City School District.
Mar. 4, 1994: "School board candidates present views at public forum". Beginning of campaign featuring Freedom, Inc. and Edward Newsome.
Apr. 6, 1994: "KC board has six new members".
May 8, 1994: Beginning of "Color of the Class", a four part Kansas City Star series on the history of KC desegregation.
Jan. 25, 1995: "Marks blames stress; KC schools chief defends his medical leave after TV report questions back pain".
Feb. 2, 1995: "Board relieves Marks of duty".
Jun. 12, 1995: Supreme "Court faults Clarks solution" in school Desegregation ruling.
Jul. 8, 1995: "State, District reach accord; Desegregation funding to end by 1999 in Kansas City School District".
Aug. 5, 1995 KC school chief finalist withdraws. John A. Murphy, Charlotte, NC, drops out less than a day after Board selects finalists. David Lusk and Shirl Gilbert remain, joined by Henry Williams as a replacement for Murphy.
Aug. 6, 1995 Second finalist [Henry Williams] quits.
Aug. 10, 1995 Missouri state senators want lawmakers in on KC desegregation talks.
Aug. 17, 1995 KC school superintendent finalist, David Lusk, drops out. Board to re-examine options.
Aug. 18, 1995 Board to take over search from consulting firm; members to study resumes of other superintendent candidates.
Aug. 23, 1995 Magnet schools losing more suburban students. Forty percent of those who planned to attend pull out.
Sept. 1, 1995 State, district fail to wind up case; miss deadline for reaching agreement to phase out 18-year old lawsuit. Negotiations extended for 3 weeks.
Sept. 3, 1995 "What lies ahead for KC Schools?" by Arthur Benson
Sept. 8, 1995 "In a surprise move, school board picks superintendent [John Murphy]." Tempers flair during meeting as district patrons speak out against decision.
Sept. 13, 1995 Talks with Murphy are halted; School Board bows to criticism, will name panel to interview him.
Sept. 23, 1995 Desegregation case parties want more time; hope to reach accord on KC school finances by October 25th.
Sept. 23, 1995 Murphy spurns KC offer of $250,000 package. Rejected Board ponders whether to offer more.
Oct. 10, 1995 District begins inquiry of Acting Superintendent Willie Giles who is named in complaints of sexual harassment.
Oct. 19, 1995 KC lose shot at Murphy; Superintendent finalist pulls out, saying he doubts board support. Board begins search anew.
Oct. 20, 1995 Board member Ed Newsome call press conference, Scolds colleagues on Murphy, Giles.
Oct 21, 1995 Acting School Superintendent Willie Giles OKd hiring relative who had been convicted of stealing $41, 000 at former job. Giles denies any violations.
Oct. 24, 1995 Board suspends Willie Giles; appoints Associate Superintendent Larry Ramsey as new acting chief.
Oct. 25, 1995 KC desegregation impasse official; Case back to court.
Oct. 27, 1995 State goes after KC school funds; District could lose tens of millions in 1996-97 year. Curbs in desegregation program, eligibility sought.
Oct. 27, 1995 Fired Superintendent Walter Marks sues KC School District for lost pay, pension, and damages.
Nov. 4, 1995 Civic leaders discuss KC School District ills.
Nov. 10, 1995 White enrollment declines in KC School District.
Nov. 21, 1995 Judge moves trial in suit by Marks to Jefferson City.
Nov. 22, 1995 "School staff gets different structure. Acting Superintendent Ramsey cancels 6 jobs, reduces KC Districts bureaucracy."
Nov. 28, 1995 Giles requests public hearing of allegations.
© WHMC-KC, University of Missouri
updated: Monday, March 27, 2006
Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Kansas City
(816) 235-1543 WHMCKC@umkc.edu