This article can be found in the current issue of the Journal of Urban Affairs regarding Contributions of Community Psychology to Urban Research and Policy.
This article currently has free access and is available to read and download.
School choice, which allows a school district to accept students from other districts, has been enthusiastically touted in the state of Michigan and recently on a national scale. The policy has been criticized by some for redirecting resources from urban school districts to wealthier, more suburban districts. By examining an urban school district in Michigan, this study argues that there is a need for community-based research and community psychology to examine students’ experiences and inform policy within urban contexts. Data collection includes archival records, field notes, focus groups, and participatory research. This case study explores the lived experiences of students within a school encountering educational budget cuts and school choice. Results highlight the various ways in which students were impacted by educational budget cuts at the individual, classroom, and overall-school levels. Student narratives describe the potential long-term negative consequences of such cuts. Implications for policy and research are discussed.