Financial resource allocation in Texas : how does money matter



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The study examined school district expenditures in Texas and their correlations with student achievement. The following research question guided this study: Which resource allocations produce statistically significant correlations between the resource allocation variances among school district and student achievement?

An ordinal logistic regression analysis included 1009 school districts in the State of Texas, 18 of 26 possible finance function codes provided per-pupil dollar amounts, and 9 of 11 possible demographic categories were utilized for the study. The study held the school district as the unit of analysis. The statistical model was used to regress the dollar amounts categorized by financial function codes and percent student demographics to determine if a relationship existed with the dependent variable of the Texas Education Agency’s defined accountability rating during the 5-year time period—2004-2008.

At the national level, there is a long-standing debate over whether the amount of money allocated to education affects student achievement. The literature review presents two sides of the debate concerning whether financial resources make a difference with regard to student achievement as represented through district-level accountability ratings.

The research revealed that specific school district resource allocations by function code are statistically significant with regard to district level accountability measures through the Texas Education Agency (TEA) accountability system. However, the odds ratios temper the impact of the significance. The research also revealed that demographics are statistically significant in the State of Texas accountability system.