Education Grants Press Release

W.T. Grant Foundation awards $512k to study impact of Choice Neighborhood Initiative

Press release: June 8, 2022

Jason Jabbari, research assistant professor with the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis, received a $512k grant from The William T. Grant Foundation to understand if and how the Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI) reduces racial inequalities in academic outcomes for children and youth. Alongside Jabbari, co-principal investigators include Odis Johnson, Jr., Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Social Policy and STEM Equity at Johns Hopkins University; DeMarcus Jenkins, assistant professor of education policy at The Pennsylvania State University; Michal Grinstein-Weiss, Shanti K. Khinduka Distinguished Professor at the Brown School at Washington University and director of SPI; and Yung Chun, senior analyst at SPI.

This project is a research-practice collaboration between SPI and Urban Strategies Inc., the largest implementation partner for the CNI providing wrap-around supports to CNI families, as well as Saint Louis Public Schools, Shelby County Schools, Seeding Success, and Baltimore City Public Schools. The Department of Housing and Urban Development created the CNI in 2009 to redevelop systemically underinvested communities while relocating families to higher-income neighborhoods in the process. 

By working hand-in-hand with families using CNI, the robust research can inform neighborhood policies, programs and on-the-ground practices to reduce racial inequalities in education.