Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Administration and Higher Education

Number of Pages



The purpose of this study was to develop an educational overburden index (EOI) as a component in the New Mexico Public School Funding Formula. This is part of an ongoing research effort to develop a methodology for the distribution of funds based on the unique characteristics and needs of individual school districts. Research indicated that measuring and predicting populations containing at-risk students can be accomplished through application of multiple variables which reflect home, school, and community concerns. The study initially began with a selection of indicators from data provided by the New Mexico State Department of Education and the U.S. Census Bureau. According to current literature, these indicators supported predictions of students most likely to be at-risk. A total of 11 variables were analyzed for eighty-nine school districts. The variables were: Chapter 1 funds, free and reduced price lunch participation, dropout rate, ITBS and High School Competency Exam scores, pupils per square miles, teacher salary, training and experience, student mobility, limited English proficiency, special education, and gifted and talented; School districts were classified into clusters based on relative need using an unsupervised learning neural network computer analysis that recognized patterns of variables of need across districts. The clusters were verified through a feedforward neural net computing program and the districts were assigned a numerical weight ordering them from districts with highest to lowest need. The numerical weights comprised the Educational Overburden Index (EOI) that was applied in a simulation to each New Mexico school district's share of the state funding formula. Use of the EOI in funding programs fosters local program flexibility, avoids "labeling" students and targets funds for districts with the highest incidence of youth in need.


Development; Educational; Funding Index; Mexico; Overburden; School; Funding

Controlled Subject

School management and organization; Education--Finance

File Format


File Size

2498.56 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have the full text removed from Digital Scholarship@UNLV, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.


IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit