Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Wednesday's Wonderful Collection - Tristan Greene papers, MS.000632

Tristan Greene was a Special Assistant to the Assistant Director of Education for Finance and Administration, in the Arkansas Department of Education, from 1993 to 1999; also he was the Special Advisor/Redistricting Planner for the Arkansas Attorney General from 1993 to 2006. Between the years 1999 and 2008, he worked as a Special Assistant to the Commissioner of Education for the Arkansas Department of Education. Greene worked to provide information on social science research and conducted analyses on Arkansas education finance system. He worked with the Attorney General’s office on election matters that had to do with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and provided redistricting support to Arkansas agencies. As of 2008, Greene is a Senior Consultant at Greene and Associates and gives expert witness testimony on area schools finance, education finance, desegregation, and voting rights.

This collection holds documents pertaining to the desegregation and funding structure of Arkansas schools in the case of Lake View School District No. 25 vs. Mike Huckabee, which lasted fifteen years. The main complaint was that the school funding system in Arkansas violated the Equal Protection and Education Clauses of the Arkansas Constitution and the Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Schools received funding from three sources: local, state, and federal. In more affluent areas of Arkansas, the schools received a larger income than less affluent areas. The state and federal funding was supposed to balance the contributions, but more often than not failed to do so. This left some Arkansas schools with insufficient and inequitable funds. In 2002, the Supreme Court issued the opinion that funding for Lake View school district in Phillips County, Arkansas, was insufficient and unbalanced. In 2007, the special masters’ final report showed that funding for education in Arkansas met with constitutional requirements. In 2012, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that school districts which receive funding that exceeds required levels may keep those additional funds.

This collection contains research on racial inequality, economic inequality, and school reform, as well as legal documents detailing lawsuits, district court documents, lawsuits filed, discovery depositions, chancery court transcripts, e-mails, witness interrogations, tax calculations, tax revenue analysis, financial information, newspaper clippings, and correspondence.