Breaking up Is Hard to Do: The Dissolution of Judicial Supervision of Public Services



Public services in many states have been placed under federal court supervision. In our 1991 PAR article, we examined the implications of the federal judicial decisions in supervising the Kansas City Metropolitan School District for the “new triumviate” governing public services—public officials, legislators, and judges. In this article, we examine judicial decisions affecting the same school district a decade later to reveal the impact of judicial supervision on the school district and to discern the implications for policy termination. We find that, once begun, judicially mandated federal court supervision of public institutions is not readily terminated, even pursuant to the wishes of the United States Supreme Court.