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Claybrook v Owensboro
In the late 1800s, Edward Claybrook (1821-1896) and others sued the City of Owensboro, KY, and others to prevent a segregated method of using taxes to pay for public education. Only taxes collected from African Americans were to be used for educating African American children in the city. For white children, the sum of $9,400 was available for two well-built schools, 18 teachers, and the 9-10 month school session. For African American children, $700 provided the one inferior school, three teachers, and a school session of about three months. In 1883, U. S. Circuit Judge John Barr ruled that the method of distributing school funds was unfair. "If I am correct in my conclusion, all that colored children in Owensboro are entitled to is the equal protection of the laws, in that a fair share of this fund be applied toward the maintenance of the common schools especially provided for colored children. In this view the only remedy is in equity.... United States courts have heretofore enjoined state officers from obeying state laws which were declared to be unconstitutional." For more see Claybrook and others v. City of Owensboro and others, District Court, D. Kentucky, 16 F.297 U.S. Dist. 1883; and Claybrook v. Owensboro by L. A. Coghill (thesis).
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky