11th Annual NEFA Conference
In Pursuit of Equity
We begin our second decade during an unprecedented time - our county is in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and facing racial and political unrest. Equity has taken center stage as practitioners and policymakers contemplate finding balance between protecting the public health and providing an adequate system of public education. Because the pandemic has disproportionately impacted black and brown communities and people living in poverty, longstanding inequities have been magnified.
The economic hardships wrought by the pandemic have resulted in tremendous budget shortfalls across the fifty states. As recently as September 3, 2020, the National Conference on State Legislatures (NCSL) reports projected budget shortfalls in 37 of the 50 states. These shortfalls will impact funding for P-20 education which has yet to recover from cuts incurred during the great recession of 2008. Equity and the provision of an adequate education for all persons is the predominant issue facing practitioners and policymakers thus thrusting our discipline to the front of conversations surrounding education. Rather than return to pre-pandemic notions of equity, we suggest that what is needed is a complete reimagining of the system of education finance and a reconceptualization of what an equitable system of education means. We call upon our membership to inform this high purpose of defining an equitable system of education by conducting and disseminating research around the theme In Pursuit of Equity.