W.T. Grant Distinguished Fellow Joins the GSE to Bridge Education Funding Research, Policy & Practice

Contact: Afsheen A. Shamsi
Telephone Number: 848-932-0619; 914-217-0983
Email Address: afsheen.shamsi@gse.rutgers.edu

W.T. Grant Distinguished Fellow Joins the GSE to Bridge Education Funding Research, Policy & Practice

Robert Kim joins Rutgers Graduate School of Education as a William T. Grant Distinguished Fellow, who through 2018 will be examining how to strengthen the relationship between school finance research and education policy and practice. His vision for his work is to improve how research on school funding is developed and presented to policy makers, municipal governments, school boards and the broader public so that they can be better equipped as change agents in their communities to address issues of educational inequity.

Kim brings a wealth of leadership experience in the field of education. From 2011 through 2016, Kim served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Strategic Operations and Outreach at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Prior to joining the Department, he was a senior policy analyst at the National Education Association, where he focused on federal education policy and human and civil rights issues impacting public schools, teachers, and students. From 1998 to 2002, Kim was a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, where he engaged in litigation and advocacy pertaining to race, criminal and juvenile justice, bullying and harassment, LGBT rights, and student rights. He is the co-author of two textbooks: Education and the Law, 4th edition (2016) and Legal Issues in Education: Rights and Responsibilities in U.S. Public Schools Today (forthcoming, 2017).

Kim will be working on school funding inequities – including state disparities in which states like New York and New Jersey spend more than $17,000 per student while other states like Idaho spend less than $6,000 per student on education. “Resource disparities can be the difference for students between realizing their potential and having a life devoid of the richness that all of us want for our children,” stated Kim.

Kim’s interest in school funding inequity was sparked by his own educational experiences growing up in Somerset County, New Jersey. He believes that public school is the place to figure out what one is interested in and that education becomes the foundation for one’s thinking and development later in life.

He has been particularly influenced by Jonathan Kozol’s seminal book, Savage Inequalities, which depicts the stark inequalities in schools around the country. Although the book was published in 1991, much remains unchanged around the country in terms of educational inequity today.

“I am particularly excited to be joining the GSE to be able to work with Dr. Bruce Baker and other leading education scholars on issues related to educational equity,” stated Kim. “Together, I hope we can empower policy makers in state and local governments and the public with actionable data and research so that they can more effectively address school inequities in their communities.”