U.S. v. State of Mo., Nos. 75-1051

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore GIBSON, Chief Judge, and HEANEY, BRIGHT, ROSS, STEPHENSON, WEBSTER and HENLEY; STEPHENSON
Citation515 F.2d 1365
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. STATE OF MISSOURI et al., Defendants. UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. BERKELEY SCHOOL DISTRICT et al., Defendants-Appellants. UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. KINLOCH SCHOOL DISTRICT et al., Defendants-Appellants. UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. FERGUSON REORGANIZED SCHOOL DISTRICT R II et al., Defendants-Appellants.
Decision Date14 May 1975
Docket Number75-1064 and 75-1073,Nos. 75-1051

Page 1365

515 F.2d 1365
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
STATE OF MISSOURI et al., Defendants.
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
BERKELEY SCHOOL DISTRICT et al., Defendants-Appellants.
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
KINLOCH SCHOOL DISTRICT et al., Defendants-Appellants.
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
FERGUSON REORGANIZED SCHOOL DISTRICT R II et al.,
Defendants-Appellants.
Nos. 75-1051, 75-1064 and 75-1073.
United States Court of Appeals,
Eighth Circuit.
Submitted April 18, 1975.
Decided May 14, 1975.

Page 1366

Albert Michenfelder, Jr., Clayton, Mo., made argument for Berkeley.

Marvin S. Wood, Clayton, Mo., made argument for Kinloch.

Norman C. Parker, St. Louis, Mo., made argument for Ferguson-Florissant.

Daniel F. Rinzel, U. S. Dept. of Justice, Civ. Rights Div., Washington, D. C., made argument for U. S. A.

Before GIBSON, Chief Judge, and HEANEY, BRIGHT, ROSS, STEPHENSON, WEBSTER and HENLEY, Circuit Judges, en banc. *

STEPHENSON, Circuit Judge.

Three adjoining school districts appeal from an order of the United States District Court 1 directing that two of them, Berkeley and Kinloch, be annexed to the third, Ferguson-Florissant School District. The purpose of the consolidation is to achieve a meaningful desegregation of Kinloch, a racially segregated and inadequately funded school district which has been established and maintained by state action in violation of the equal protection clause. The district court's findings and conclusions are reported at 363 F.Supp. 739 (E.D.Mo.1973). The final desegregation plan and orders implementing the same have been reported at 388 F.Supp. 1058 (E.D.Mo.1975). We affirm the general desegregation (annexation) plan with some modification of the maximum school tax rate set by the district court.

The detailed findings set out in the district court's published opinions will not be repeated beyond that essential to the disposition of the issues raised on appeal.

Page 1367

BACKGROUND

Prior to 1937 the present Kinloch district and most of the present Berkeley district were one school district known as Kinloch School District No. 18. The schools were then segregated in accordance with Missouri law; one high school and one elementary school were operated for white children, and one elementary school was operated for black children. Subsequently, Kinloch No. 18 was split into two districts, Berkeley district being white and the new Kinloch black. This was done despite the strong opposition of the new Kinloch district.

The trial court found that as a direct consequence of the creation and maintenance of Kinloch as a small, all-black school district, educational opportunities provided were markedly inferior to the opportunities offered in the adjoining Berkeley and Ferguson districts, as well as those offered in most other school districts in St. Louis County. For example, (1) in 1970-71 Kinloch had the lowest assessed valuation per pupil in average daily attendance (ADA) of any school district in St. Louis County (Kinloch's assessed valuation was one-third of Ferguson's and one-sixth of Berkeley's); (2) testimony indicated that Kinloch's buildings and equipment were markedly inferior to the buildings and equipment in the other two districts; (3) the number of library books available to the students in Kinloch was significantly lower; (4) average salaries of teachers in Kinloch were considerably lower; (5) a higher faculty turnover rate and a lower percentage of teachers with master's degrees existed as compared to the other two districts; this has had a significant effect on the quality of the educational program offered in Kinloch; and (6) Kinloch's high school students have a more limited choice of curricula.

The Missouri Department of Education recognized the differences among the districts by its classification system. Kinloch is classified as AA, while both of the other districts are classified as AAA, the highest rating. In St. Louis County only two other districts have less than a AAA rating. The educational deficiencies of the Kinloch district have been long-standing and have been frequently brought to the attention of county and state officials.

The district court further found that on numerous occasions the county and state defendants have proposed reorganization plans for the school districts in St. Louis County, but have not included Kinloch in such plans because it was all-black and the officials believed that the voters of surrounding school districts would reject consolidation with Kinloch for that reason. On one occasion (in 1949) when consolidation of Kinloch with Berkeley, Ferguson and other districts was recommended, the reorganization proposal was defeated by referendum.

The court concluded that

* * * the cumulative effect of the actions of the state and local defendants has been the creation, operation, support, and general supervision by the State of Missouri of a small school district which is unconstitutionally segregated and whose students are denied an equal educational opportunity (citations omitted).

363 F.Supp. at 749.

The district court ordered the state and other defendants "to develop and implement a plan which will 'achieve the greatest possible degree of actual desegregation, taking into account the practicalities of (the) situation.' " 363 F.Supp. at 750.

Thereafter the state and St. Louis County submitted a plan which proposed consolidation of the Berkeley, Kinloch and Ferguson districts. Numerous settlement conferences were conducted in an effort to encourage the local districts to agree on a suitable plan. These efforts were unsuccessful. In October 1974 the court directed the State Board of Education to submit an updated plan.

This plan shall envision the annexation by Ferguson-Florissant School District of the Kinloch and Berkeley Districts. In view of the current inflation and financial condition of the country, no

Page 1368

new building shall be built and busing of students shall be at a minimum.

Orders were also entered permitting the local districts to prepare and file proposed plans which contemplated, in the alternative, consolidation of Berkeley and Kinloch or Kinloch and Ferguson. After a hearing on the various proposals, the court entered a judgment requiring implementation of the three-district plan, now before us, which provides for the annexation of Berkeley and Kinloch to Ferguson.

CONTENTIONS

In this appeal the three appellant school districts agree that Kinloch should be desegregated but differ as to the manner in which this is to be achieved. Berkeley contends the better solution is to annex Kinloch to Ferguson, whereas Ferguson and Kinloch argue that the best plan is to annex Kinloch to Berkeley. They all disapprove of the three-district plan.

Berkeley contends it should not be included in the plan to desegregate Kinloch for the reasons that: (1) The facts do not support a finding that the formation of Berkeley in 1937 is the cause of existing segregation in Kinloch; (2) the inclusion of Berkeley in the plan will not accomplish the desegregation of Kinloch; (3) Berkeley has become a unitary system of education and should not be included in any desegregation plan; and (4) the plan will impose an excessive burden on the black residents of Berkeley; Berkeley is now maintaining an effective, integrated school system offering quality education to black and white pupils alike on a tax rate of $3.80 per hundred dollars assessed valuation, whereas the court-ordered plan contemplates a tax rate of $6.03 upon all residents of the new consolidated district; (5) the court erred in not adopting the Ferguson-Kinloch plan because of Ferguson's action by referendum in rejecting the 1949 plan proposed by the county board, which included Kinloch, whereas in 1951 Ferguson, Florissant and St. Ferdinand School Districts reorganized and formed Ferguson; (6) the Ferguson-Kinloch plan will accomplish the desegregation of Kinloch while the inclusion of Berkeley will not; and (7) the Ferguson-Kinloch plan is economically, administratively and educationally more feasible than the three-district plan.

Kinloch contends that it was unconstitutionally created, preserved and maintained and that its children have been denied equal educational opportunities. This is not seriously disputed. It further argues that legally and equitably the remedy should be consolidation of Kinloch and Berkeley or the reestablishment of the old Kinloch School District No. 18. The thrust of its argument is that the present Kinloch district was created not by state, county, or other action but by the predecessors of the present Berkeley School District and that, even assuming that the state of Missouri is guilty of some segregative of discriminatory act, its guilt or liability cannot be attributed to the Ferguson district, which at the most is guilty of inaction. Milliken v. Bradley, 418 U.S. 717, 94 S.Ct. 3112, 41 L.Ed.2d 1069 (1974).

Ferguson agrees with Kinloch that no constitutional violation on the part of Ferguson has been found or established and, therefore, it should not be included in the desegregation plan. Milliken, supra. It further contends that the plan violates the Tenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution in that it ignores the Missouri Constitution and laws establishing autonomous school districts where directors are elected by the voters and tax rates are set by the voters. The three-district plan ordered by the court provided that two seats on the Ferguson board were declared vacant and were to be filled by one member from the boards of the annexed districts to be selected by them. As previously indicated, the court also ordered that the 1975 school tax rate would be uniform throughout the new district and was fixed at a maximum of $6.03.

...

To continue reading

Request your trial
33 practice notes
  • Mo. State Conference of the Nat'l Ass'n for the Advancement of Colored People v. Ferguson-Florissant Sch. Dist., Case No. 4:14 CV 2077 RWS
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
    • August 22, 2016
    ...school district of Kinloch and primarily white neighboring district of Berkeley. Joint Stip. ¶ 9; see also United States v. Missouri , 515 F.2d 1365, 1369–73 (8th Cir.1975). The District covers all or part of eleven municipalities: Berkeley, Calverton Park, Cool Valley, and Kinloch in their......
  • Jenkins v. State of Mo., No. 77-0420-CV-W-4.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Western District of Missouri
    • September 17, 1984
    ...denied, 449 U.S. 826, 101 S.Ct. 88, 66 L.Ed.2d 29 (1980); and United States v. Missouri, 363 F.Supp. 739, 746-47 (E.D.Mo. 1973) aff'd 515 F.2d 1365 (8th Cir.) cert. denied, 423 U.S. 951, 96 S.Ct. 374, 46 L.Ed.2d 288 Each school district in Missouri participated in this dual school system be......
  • Jenkins by Agyei v. State of Mo., R-5 and D
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • February 5, 1987
    ...in interdistrict cases. See Morrilton School District No. 32 v. United States, 606 F.2d at 230; see also United States v. Missouri, 515 F.2d 1365 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 423 U.S. 951, 96 S.Ct. 374, 46 L.Ed.2d 288 (1975); Haney v. County Board of Education, 410 F.2d 920 (8th Cir.1969). The......
  • Little Rock School Dist. v. Pulaski County Special School Dist. No. 1, Nos. 85-1078
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • November 7, 1985
    ...See, e.g., Morrilton School District No. 32 v. United States, 606 F.2d 222, 229 (8th Cir.1979); United States v. State of Missouri, 515 F.2d 1365, 1371 (8th Cir.1975); Haney v. County Board of Education of Sevier County, 429 F.2d 364 (8th Cir.1970). We have also required a state (that had b......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
33 cases
  • Mo. State Conference of the Nat'l Ass'n for the Advancement of Colored People v. Ferguson-Florissant Sch. Dist., Case No. 4:14 CV 2077 RWS
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
    • August 22, 2016
    ...school district of Kinloch and primarily white neighboring district of Berkeley. Joint Stip. ¶ 9; see also United States v. Missouri , 515 F.2d 1365, 1369–73 (8th Cir.1975). The District covers all or part of eleven municipalities: Berkeley, Calverton Park, Cool Valley, and Kinloch in their......
  • Jenkins v. State of Mo., No. 77-0420-CV-W-4.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Western District of Missouri
    • September 17, 1984
    ...denied, 449 U.S. 826, 101 S.Ct. 88, 66 L.Ed.2d 29 (1980); and United States v. Missouri, 363 F.Supp. 739, 746-47 (E.D.Mo. 1973) aff'd 515 F.2d 1365 (8th Cir.) cert. denied, 423 U.S. 951, 96 S.Ct. 374, 46 L.Ed.2d 288 Each school district in Missouri participated in this dual school system be......
  • Jenkins by Agyei v. State of Mo., R-5 and D
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • February 5, 1987
    ...in interdistrict cases. See Morrilton School District No. 32 v. United States, 606 F.2d at 230; see also United States v. Missouri, 515 F.2d 1365 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 423 U.S. 951, 96 S.Ct. 374, 46 L.Ed.2d 288 (1975); Haney v. County Board of Education, 410 F.2d 920 (8th Cir.1969). The......
  • Little Rock School Dist. v. Pulaski County Special School Dist. No. 1, Nos. 85-1078
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • November 7, 1985
    ...See, e.g., Morrilton School District No. 32 v. United States, 606 F.2d 222, 229 (8th Cir.1979); United States v. State of Missouri, 515 F.2d 1365, 1371 (8th Cir.1975); Haney v. County Board of Education of Sevier County, 429 F.2d 364 (8th Cir.1970). We have also required a state (that had b......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT