EDUCATIONAL EXPENDITURES AND MINIMUM BASIC SKILLS ATTAINMENT

FRANCIS ANTHONY STEFFERO, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between educational expenditures and minimum basic skills (MBS) attainment in New Jersey public schools. The study addressed the following three questions: (1) Is there a relationship between spending and student performance above and beyond the effect of socioeconomic status (SES) and other factors which cannot be changed by local school leaders? (2) Which per pupil expenditure variables; i.e., total current expenditures, total day school expenditures, teacher salary expenditures, expenditures for other instructional staff, textbook expenditures, and expenditures for school libraries and audio-visual materials, are most closely related to student performance? (3) Does the relationship between expenditures and student performance vary from one type of district; e.g., elementary, K-12, and secondary, to another type of district?^ Expenditure data for the 1977-78 school year and the results of MBS test performance in reading for students in grades 3, 6, 9, and 11 were examined for 490 school districts, which represented over 84 percent of all New Jersey's operating school districts. Socioeconomic status and district size and type were controlled by grouping districts on the basis of these variables. There were three levels of SES, five levels of district size and type, and four grade levels. Scattergrams and tests for normality of the data were reviewed. Correlation coefficients were computed between each of the six expenditure per pupil variables and MBS test performance for all groups. A total of 48 correlations were computed for each of the six expenditure variables.^ Out of 288 correlations computed, 14 were significant. The significant correlations in low and moderate SES districts tended to be negative. There were also differences in spending per pupil as well as differences in MBS test performance between levels of SES and levels of district size and type.^ The study concluded that there was a relationship between spending and student performance above and beyond the effect of SES, but the existence of the relationship varied depending on the type of expenditure, SES, grade, and district size and type. Total current expenditures, total day school expenditures, teacher salary expenditures, and expenditures for salaries of other instructional staff showed a relationship to MBS test performance. The relationship between spending and student performance did not appear more consistently in one type of district than in another. ^

Subject Area

Education finance

Recommended Citation

STEFFERO, FRANCIS ANTHONY, "EDUCATIONAL EXPENDITURES AND MINIMUM BASIC SKILLS ATTAINMENT" (1980). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8021008.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8021008

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