Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

Teresa S. Jordan

Number of Pages



This study used a sequential explanatory, mixed-methods design to explore the relationship between fiscal decision making and the school improvement planning process at school sites in a large, southwestern school district and the impact those decisions and decision-making processes may have had on student achievement outcomes in elementary schools; The methodology for the study is comprised of two research phases. Phase I included a quantitative analysis of elementary school expenditure patterns across those categories delineated in the Cooper's and Lybrand's Finance Analysis Model databank for a large urban district in the southwest. Comparisons were made across three sub-groups of elementary schools: (1) those schools meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), (2) those schools on the Watch List, and (3) those schools delineated as In Need of Improvement, as defined by the state's accountability plan for the No Child Left Behind Act. Phase II consisted of a qualitative analysis of school fiscal decision making through a series of case studies. Six schools, two from each subgroup with similar demographic characteristics, were studied; Several researchers have made the study of school-based expenditures a priority in recent years; however, the literature in school finance has mostly concentrated on examining district or state expenditure patterns. This study focused on the former and intended to reveal how school-based fiscal decisions are, or are not, related to the school improvement planning process; The major findings of the study included determining that school improvement was an ongoing dynamic process, and fiscal decisions were, in fact, tied to strategic academic goals in elementary schools exhibiting progress. The two functions, school improvement and fiscal decision making, did, however, occur in isolation in most instances. As a result, a limited connection existed between the two entities; Providing information to education leaders on how schools spend their money, how they arrive at those decisions, and how those decisions are, or are not, related to school improvement efforts may assist districts in developing a better understanding of the relationship between fiscal decision making and school improvement efforts, and, ultimately, their impact on student achievement outcomes.*; *This dissertation is a compound document (contains both a paper copy and a CD as part of the dissertation). The CD requires the following system requirements: Microsoft Office.


Adequate Yearly Progress; Allocations; Analysis; Ayp; Elementary Schools; Fiscal; Fiscal Allocations; Meeting School Improvement; Schools; School Improvement; Calculation; School improvement planning; Finance Analysis Model

Controlled Subject

School management and organization; Education--Finance

File Format


File Size

3870.72 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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