The Kansas City, Missouri School District is one of the only school districts in the nation which has had continuing problems with desegregation since the Brown v. Board of Education ruling in 1954. Burdened with white flight from the inner city and poverty, the district looked for ways to desegregate its nearly 80 percent minority school system. Though anxious for a solution to this two-decade-old problem, numerous attempts and enormous amounts of money have not brought successful integration.
In the Supreme Court case Missouri v. Jenkins, the court addressed the lack of non-minority enrollment in the Kansas City, Missouri School District and directed ways to correct the problem. Though the district has tried such measures as pay raises, school improvements, and a magnet school program to attract suburban white students, students are not returning to the city to be educated.
Despite the best efforts of the courts, school boards, parents, teachers, and the federal and state governments, desegregation is still a huge problem. This paper explains and analyzes selected aspects of the court case which has tormented Kansas City for over twenty years.
Karen Ullery, ’99 Kansas City, MO
Majors: Politics, History
Sponsor: Richard Thomas