The board of the Association for Education Finance and Policy has voted to move the organization’s 2023 conference from Forth Worth, Texas to Denver, Colorado.
In a blogpost explaining the decision, leaders of the association said it was not taken lightly, and that it was made after extensive consultation with members.
The relocation comes after organization members raised health and safety concerns about holding the conference in Forth Worth following the Dobbs v. Jackson decision issued in late June by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“[T]he Board expressly decided not to let our individual feelings about politics or policy in Texas guide our decision … [i]t is not our purpose to advocate for one set of beliefs over another.” the board said.
It added: “Rather, in our deliberations, the Board focused on making a decision that was the most consistent with our core values: promoting member health and safety, inclusivity, AEFP’s financial well-being, and the evidence we currently have available.”
In a survey of AEFP members, 24% of respondents said they would be unlikely or very unlikely to attend the conference if it was held in Fort Worth. Of that group, one-fourth cited concerns about their own health and safety as the primary reason.
AEFP added that attracting as many attendees as possible, a need to preserve the organization’s finances and recent additional sponsorship were other factors that contributed to the relocation decision.
The conference had been scheduled to take place in Fort Worth, Texas between March 23 to March 25. It will now be held over the same dates at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Denver, Colorado.