Assessing the Responses of Education Finance and Policy to the Dual Pandemic of COVID-19 and Racial Injustice

Submission Dates: September 20–November 1, 2021

The Association for Education Finance and Policy (AEFP) is pleased to announce its call for proposals for the 47th Annual Conference, which will be held March 17–19, 2022, at the Hilton Denver City Center in Denver, Colorado. Submissions will be accepted for individual papers, posters, and policy talks from Monday, September 20, through Monday, November 1, 2021, at 11:59 pm EST.

The 47th conference theme is Assessing the Responses of Education Finance and Policy to the Dual Pandemic of COVID-19 and Racial Injustice. COVID-19 and the struggle for racial justice have defined our collective recent history and may well prove to be the phenomena that define this decade. Both have had—and continue to have—profound implications for PK-12 schools, institutions of higher education, and their communities. As the dual pandemic has shaped the work of practitioners and policymakers, education finance and policy researchers have responded with timely data collection and analysis that have aided that work. This emerging research is shaping our understanding of education’s shifting landscape and providing new direction for how education systems can respond. 

A goal of this year’s conference is to highlight research on COVID-19 and racial injustice and its connections to the work of practitioners and policymakers. As usual, we encourage submission of high-quality research on other topics (see topic areas below), but we are especially interested in paper and poster submissions that connect to the conference theme. We also invite submission of policy talk proposals that engage practitioners and policymakers around COVID-19- and racial injustice-related issues and challenges, though again, policy talk proposals on other topics are welcome.

AEFP is engaged in an ongoing effort to make the organization a more inclusive space for education policy research, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. We welcome and encourage research that examines education finance and/or policy topics from varied substantive and methodological perspectives. We are especially interested in work that foregrounds issues of structural inequity, race, gender, sexuality, class, and ability. We are interested in any research addressing critical education finance and/or policy questions, recognizing that rigorous research can take many methodological forms.

Paper & Poster Proposals

We welcome paper and poster proposals on any topic in education finance and/or policy and in any context. We will review proposals under 16 different topic areas. Many proposals can reasonably fit into more than one topic area; authors should choose the topic area that fits the proposal best.  

  1. Early childhood
  2. Educator preparation, professional development, performance, and evaluation
  3. Educator labor markets (e.g., compensation, pensions, mobility, supply and demand)
  4. K-12 standards, accountability, assessment, and curriculum
  5. K-12 school finance
  6. K-12 school choice
  7. K-12 school politics, governance, leadership, and organizations
  8. K-12 interventions and short-term outcomes (academic and non-academic)
  9. Post-secondary student access, admissions, finances, and success
  10. Post-secondary systems: finance, governance, and accountability
  11. Causes and consequences of racial and other forms of inequity in education
  12. Long-term outcomes of education (e.g., employment, wages, civic participation)
  13. COVID-19
  14. Intersections between education and other policy areas
  15. Methodology, data, and other studies that are not covered by another topic area

Only paper/poster submissions will be accepted; panel submissions will not be accepted. 

Paper/poster submissions should be a maximum of 750 words. Proposals should clearly articulate the following elements, which the program committee suggests using as headings: 

  • Background/Significance
  • Research Questions
  • Data Sources
  • Methods
  • Findings (including preliminary or forthcoming findings)

Description of these sections. The proposal should provide context for the study and describe its contribution. It should clearly state research questions. It should describe data sources and methods in sufficient detail. It should explain its results and substantiate conclusions, or, if the work is still in progress, explain how it expects to substantiate its conclusions by the time of the conference.You may upload supplemental tables and figures. However, please do not upload a working paper in place of a proposal.

You may only submit one proposal as a presenter. You may be an author on multiple proposals so long as you present only once at the meeting. Proposals should be submitted through AEFP’s submission portal no later than November 1, 2021. 

Policy Talk Proposals

In addition to individual papers, we encourage proposals for policy talks that are panel sessions of up to four presenters, focusing on a topic of broad policy relevance. Topics that are relevant to this year’s conference theme are of particular interest and will be prioritized, but all topics are welcome. We will also look favorably on proposals that are designed to serve as an incubator for policy briefs intended for publication in the association’s journal, Education Finance and Policy (For more on what a policy brief should be, see here.) These panels bring together researchers and policy makers/practitioners to inform and address challenges in education.

Policy talk proposals can be up to 1,000 words in length and should include the following, which could serve as proposal headings: 

  • Background/Significance
  • Policy Topic Addressed
  • Description of Panel
  • Panelists and their Expected Contributions

Description of these sections. The proposal should explain the session’s policy relevance. It should provide a clear statement of the policy topic it addresses. It should describe the panel’s format. It should name and justify the panelists (including providing relevant information on panelist backgrounds), and describe the contributions it expects each panelist to make. 

Policy talk proposals should include at least one practitioner or policymaker, with more than one preferred. Proposals that do not to include a practitioner or policymaker must include a statement justifying the omission and make clear why the panel will be of relevance to practice or policy audiences.

Conference Format

AEFP anticipates an in-person conference in 2022, with online streaming of select sessions. For in-person participants, we will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to ensure a safe conference. As these guidelines are changing rapidly, we will communicate specifics to our membership closer to the conference. 

Of course, although we are planning for an in-person gathering—our first in three years—we all recognize the uncertainty of the ongoing pandemic and the challenges it brings. Rest assured that we will have a backup plan in place should those plans get derailed. Look for further communications as we work through that uncertainty as spring approaches.

—Jason A. Grissom, Program Chair and President-elect, on behalf of the AEFP Program Committee