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Researching Discrimination in Michigan School Funding

Over the past week, the Office of Michigan Public School Finance at Eastern Michigan University shared research based on two exemplary leaders and scholars. First, on Monday, March 6th, the Office hosted the John W. Porter Distinguished Chair in Urban Education Inaugural Symposium. The team that presented comprised Dr. Phillip Caldwell, and research partners, Drs. Rajah E. Smart and Jed Richardson, who traveled in and out on the day to support the research.

This research focuses on Michigan’s system for funding public schools, particularly for Black students, via critical race theory, focusing on structural racism and discrimination embedded in education finance laws, housing policies, and residential and educational segregation.

The John W. Porter Distinguished Chair in Urban Education is named in honor of former EMU President and State Superintendent of Public Instruction, John W. Porter.

Also, last week, on Friday, March 10th, Dr. Caldwell was invited to give the Carl A. Grant Scholars Lecture Series talk. The School of Education and the Wisconsin Center for Education Research sponsor the Carl A. Grant Scholars Lecture Series, formerly the Visiting Minority Scholar Lecture Series. Grant, who joined the UW–Madison School of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction more than 30 years ago and serves as the Hoefs-Bascom Professor of Teacher Education, has written about and worked with teachers and administrators throughout his career to improve student achievement, knowledge, and skills in multicultural social justice, culturally responsive curriculum development and teaching.

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