Tue March 18, 2008
Civil Rights Lawyer Runs for KCMO School Board
By Sylvia Maria Gross
Kansas City, MO – The man who took the Kansas City Missouri school district to court in 1979 in a far-reaching desegregation case has decided to run for the school board. Civil rights lawyer Arthur Benson will conduct a write-in campaign in subdistrict one for a seat that no one is officially running for. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross has more.
Arthur Benson says he didn't intend to run for the school board - but many friends and neighbors urged him to because they didn't want to see the seat go uncontested. He says he has experience working with the school district on programs, staffing and curriculum. And he says the lawsuit he filed almost 30 years ago on behalf of African American students helped bring resources to the city's schools.
BENSON: The physical needs of the school district and most of the financial needs of the school district were met through the desegregation litigation, the failure has been a people failure.
Benson says he thinks the school district's priorities should be hiring a competent new superintendent, advocating against the renewal of No Child Left Behind and focusing the district's efforts on how children learn. Another write-in candidate for the first subdistrict seat is Dolores Arzola, who's chair of the district's advisory committee.
Click here for a recent interview with school board candidate Dolores Arzola.