About this Research Topic
In the United States, over $700 billion dollars is expended each year on public education.
Around the world, countries are making much needed investments in the provision of education
for the public good. How those funds are divided among school districts and what the money
buys is topic of ongoing policy debate. Research documents, for example, that many school
systems serving predominantly white and wealthier students have far greater resource levels
compared to nearby schools serving greater percentages of Black, Indigenous, and LatinX
students, and students in poverty. The 2020 economic recession, the COVID-19 global
pandemic, and the Movement for Black Lives have created a sense of urgency in identifying
policy solutions to ameliorate resource-based disparities in public education. Policymakers have
expressed increased demand for research on how education finance systems can best respond in
the face of unprecedented challenges.
The goal of this special topic volume is to gather research focused on equitable school resource
allocation in the context of a global pandemic, an economic recession, and increased attention to
racial/ethnic and income-based disparities in educational opportunity. Recent advances in the
field of school finance have shown the substantial impact of school finance reforms on students’
long-term outcomes (Candelaria & Shores, 2019). Yet, a growing area of research shows that
inequities in school resources are more complex and intractable than previously understood
(Knight, 2020; Martínez & Spikes, 2020; Martínez, Jiménez-Castellanos & Begay, 2019). This
volume will push the field theoretically and empirically, supporting the development of novel
ways to articulate and address long-standing gaps in educational opportunity, while
problematizing the existing knowledge base. Accepted manuscripts will address a pressing need
to understand how school finance systems contribute to social reproduction, and how policies
can be leveraged to reduce inequality.
Define the scope of the Research Topic listing specific themes you would like contributors to
address. Indicate the types of manuscripts you are interested in.
Editors will consider empirical scholarship as well as theoretical/conceptual pieces that address
any of the following broad research questions as well as related issues:
• How do school districts or institutions of higher education respond to state funding cuts?
• To what extent do school districts or institutions of higher education define and prioritize
resource equity and for whom?
• To what extent do income-based funding polices address racial/ethnic resources
• How do human capital management practices including teacher recruitment and retention
contribute to resource disparities?
• What are the costs associated with different resource allocation strategies?
• What are design features differentiating public school finance systems around the world?
• What historical events contribute to educational finance inequity, and have these
challenges been reconciled?
• To what extent do school principals pair higher-need students with greater resources?
• What principal characteristics are associated with equitable resources allocation?
• How have school finance systems integrate P-20 funding mechanisms?
• To what extent do Hispanic Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Tribal Colleges and Universities receive an equitable or adequate share
of state and federal funding?
Scholarship addressing these important questions will occupy a central role in education policy
discourse over the next decade. We call for manuscripts that speak to these issues and bring to
bear evidence that supports research claims.
Keywords: School finance, equity, economic recession, resource allocation, COVID-19
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.