The relationship among community commitment to education, resource allocation and education success in rural Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/tq57nw32p

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  • The study examined associations between rural interschool district expenditure allocations and high school student achievement, after accounting for socioeconomic factors. Both cross-sectional and time series per-student expenditure data (1982-1988) were used. Eleven performance criteria were evaluated based on 1985-1988 data. The sample included 27 small Central and Eastern Oregon school districts, enrollment ranging from 60 to about 400 students (grades 1-12). In addition, parents were surveyed to determine their opinions on education success criteria. Low student-teacher ratio was strongly associated with performance, whereas enrollment was slightly positive. Of the expenditure variables, per-student expenditures on both teacher salaries and noncertified instructional staff were negatively related to education success; whereas, funds allocated to guidance, health, and counselling and to special instruction for educationally different students were positively associated with performance. Parent opinions, expressed as a parent success index, strongly affected the analysis results, indicating that parent input is important for greater allocative efficiency of public education funds. However, using hours of adult education as a proxy variable, no association was found between parents' modeling of "lifelong learning" and high school student achievement. Size economies were found within the sample enrollment range, with per-student expenditures on salaries, benefits, operation/maintenance, administration, and student transportation accounting for over 90 percent of the size effect. However, given the strongly negative association between high student-teacher ratios and education success, rural school consolidation policy would have to consider maintaining a low student-teacher ratio, losing some of the expected efficiency gains.
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