The Relationship Between Resource Allocation Patterns in Missouri K-12 Public School Districts and Student Performance

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Butler, Aaron Ross
resource allocation; student performance; student achievement; 65 percent solution; education finance; MAP test; Education
thesis / dissertation description
The link between school funding and student achievement has been a topic of debate for many years. School leaders and policy makers have sought ways to increase student achievement while using educational funding in an efficient manner. Previous initiatives to examine the relationship between funding and achievement have included education production functions, standards-based reforms, reallocation of resources, and minimum funding levels. This study was designed to examine the relationship between resource allocation patterns and student achievement in 447 Missouri K-12 public schools. The relationship between school districts¿ resources and their achievement on the 10th grade mathematics and 11th grade communication arts portions of the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) test were analyzed using a multiple linear regression analysis. The initial results of the study showed no relationship between district level expenditures and student achievement. However, the second part of the study showed that a district¿s PEER group, average teachers¿ experience, student-teacher ratio, and percent of teachers with a Masters degree were related to student achievement. This information will be useful to school leaders and policy makers as they work to increase levels of achievement while operating on budgets of varying size. The third part of the study examined the relationship between student achievement and a proposed 65 percent minimum funding level for instruction related expenses. Despite the growing popularity that the 65 Percent Solution is receiving with education policy makers across the country, the results of this study do not provide evidence that meeting this expenditure level will result in high levels of achievement.