Promoting Equitable Education

Doctoral student Chris Needham and faculty member Eric Houck have been named winners of the Journal of Education Finance Article of the Year Award.

Needham and Houck won the award for their article “The Inequities of Special Education Funding in North Carolina,” published in the journal’s summer 2019 issue.

The article described research into how funding for students with special needs is allocated in North Carolina. Needham and Houck’s work examined the effects of a funding cap implemented in 1980 that was intended to disincentivize over-representation of students with special needs by school districts.

Needham, the lead author on the paper, is a doctoral student in the Policy, Leadership and School Improvement (PLS) strand of the UNC School of Education’s Ph.D. program. Houck, associate professor in the PLS and Educational Leadership programs, is an authority on school finance, conducting research on the inequities created by educational finance systems.

Needham’s research project was supported by the School of Education’s James Yadkin Joyner Fellowship, awarded to PLS students who are committed to the study of education policy and research. In 2019, Needham’s research also won a UNC Impact Award from UNC-Chapel Hill’s Graduate School.

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