Dr. Caldwell and his team’s initial research aim is seeking to set the groundwork for describing and explaining any evidence of structural racism, inequity, and inadequacy in the Michigan public school finance system as it relates to the education of Black students. The work in the Morris Chair will begin the analysis and categorizing of Michigan public school districts into a School District Financial Profile. This will describe the districts using two metrics: Fiscal Fitness and the overall Fiscal Profile. Fiscal Fitness is the district's financial strength or Fund Balance to Revenue Ratio by dividing the ending fund balances by the revenues for the operating cost, educational, operations and business administration, transportation, and working cash funds. The Fiscal Profile analyzes financial systems to find a district’s strengths and weaknesses.
Georgetown Edunomics Lab NERD$ Grant
The Edunomics Lab and the Massive Data Institute at Georgetown University provided funds to use NERD$ (National Education Resource Database on Schools), a new school spending data archive. Our project sought to describe variations in funding across the state of Michigan based on race, free and reduced lunch provisions and district type (city, suburb, town, rural, hold-harmless).
The Porter Chair is designed to actively expand the University’s role in urban school districts in Michigan, with an emphasis on school-community partnerships. Dr. Caldwell’s Porter project entitled Investigating the Persistence of Racism as it Relates to Michigan K12 Public School Funding Policy, Practice, and Educational Disparity. The project will examine the persistence of racism specifically as it relates to public school funding policy, practice and educational disparities within Michigan.