Brett Geier

Photo of Brett Geier
Brett Geier
Professor of Educational Leadership in K-12 Leadership
(269) 387-3490
3571 Sangren Hall, Mail Stop 5283
Mailing address: 
Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5283 USA
  • Ed.D., Educational Leadership, Western Michigan University, 2007
  • M.Ed., Educational Leadership, Grand Valley State University, 1999
  • A.B., History, Hope College, 1995

Dr. Brett Geier is a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology in the College of Education and Human Development, specializing in Pre-K-12 Leadership.

Dr. Geier received an A.B. from Hope College in 1994 in history and political science with an emphasis in secondary education. In 1999, he received an M.Ed. in educational leadership from Grand Valley State University and an Ed.D. in educational leadership from Western Michigan University in 2007. Dr. Geier spent over 16 years in public education as a teacher, principal, and superintendent in Michigan schools. Prior to coming to Western Michigan University, Dr. Geier was an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of South Florida.

His fundamental areas of research investigate public school law and finance and the intersection of these subjects pragmatically and theoretically on educational administration. Within these subject areas, more precisely, Dr. Geier examines the implication of Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause jurisprudence on public schools. Furthermore, Dr. Geier examines many elements within the school finance arena such as the systemic inequities and inadequacies of state finance systems specifically targeting demographics such as race and socio-economic status, public educator retirement systems, facility maintenance and construction, and efficient budgeting models. Dr. Geier’s research has been widely published in law reviews and journals such as Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal, Brigham Young University Education and Law Journal, Journal of Law and Education, Campbell Law Review, First Amendment Law Review, Journal of Education Finance, Barry Law Review, College of Mississippi Law Review, School Planning and Management, School Business Affairs, Journal of Cases in Education Studies, and Professional School Counseling.  He has composed multiple book chapters for various edited books and is the author of Quality Facilities for Enhanced Student Achievement.  Dr. Geier is a 2016 National Education Finance Association Distinguished Fellow in Research and Practice. His research is regularly presented at local, state, and national forums and conferences.

Dr. Geier has recently published The Roberts Court and K-12 Schools, which examines the U.S. Supreme Court’s impact on public schools since 2005 The Roberts Court and Public Schools | SpringerLink and has a forthcoming book edited with Dr. Regina Garza Mitchell (WMU), Dr. Azadeh Osanloo (New Mexico State University), and Dr. Annie Blankenship Knox (Claremont Graduate University) entitled Palgrave’s Handbook of Educational Thinkers. The online version is available here:  The Palgrave Handbook of Educational Thinkers | SpringerLink with the hardcopy available in early summer 2024. 

Courses Taught:

EDLD 6610 School Law and Ethics

EDLD 6620 School Business Management

EDLD 6300 Data-Informed Decision Making

EDLD 6720 District Finance and Operations

EDLD 6793 Principal Internship I

EDLD 6794 Principal Internship II

EDLD 7120 Field Experience


Selected Publications:

Geier, B. A. (2020, Summer). Funding God's schools - A legal analysis of appropriating public dollars to parochial schools: Does Michigan's latest legislation violate the separation of church and state? Journal of Law and Education, 49(3), 285-337.

Geier B. A. & Blankenship – Knox, A. (2020). When speech is your stock in trade: What Kennedy v. Bremerton School District reveals about the future of employee speech and religion jurisprudence. Campbell Law Review, 42(1), 31-80.

Blankenship, A. & Geier, B. A. (2018, Fall). Taking a day off to pray:  Closing schools for religious observance in increasingly diverse schools. Brigham Young University Journal of Law and Education, 2018(2), 1-51.

Geier, B. A. (2017, June). Fundraising activities in schools: The legal parameters guiding compliance. NASSP Bulletin, 101(2), 142-161. doi: 10.1177/0192636517711248

Geier, B. A., & Blankenship, A. (2017, Spring). Praying for touchdowns: Contemporary law and legislation for prayer in public school athletics. First Amendment Law Review, 15, 381-436.

Geier, B. A. (2016, Spring). The federal government’s usurpation of local control from public schools: A historical analysis of politics, law, and reaction. Barry Law Review. 21(1), 53-88.

Geier, B. A. (2016, Spring). Michigan’s public educator retirement system – on the road to bankruptcy: A legal analysis of Michigan. Journal of Education Finance. 41(4), 451-472.

Geier, B. A. (2014). Texas cheerleaders and the first amendment: Can you cheer for God at a football game? Mississippi College of Law Review. 33(1), 65 – 88.