Open Access Dissertation
Date of Award
Educational Leadership and Policy
Michael F. Addonizio
EXAMINING THE COSTS OF PROVIDING AN ADEQUATE EDUCATION
FOR MICHIGAN'S K-12 PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS
Advisor: Dr. Michael F. Addonizio
Major: Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Because the Federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which requires students to perform at predefined proficiency levels on state standardized testing instruments, adequate school funding has become arguably the single most important factor influencing the success of children in schools. Because State legislators are the one's primarily responsible for establishing annual budgets for K-12 public education, it is essential they are made aware of the importance of appropriating adequate resources to ensure every child has the potential to succeed on State standardized tests.
Over the course of its history, Michigan lawmakers have relied on past funding system formulas and the political process to establish their annual education budgets. New methods will need to be implemented to more accurately identify the actual costs needed for all children in the State to meet rising student academic performance expectations.
The purpose of this study was to determine an adequate per pupil funding level to educate all school aged children in the State of Michigan so they will perform at the minimum proficiency standards on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP). The Successful Schools or Empirical Observation approach was used to estimate the total costs needed by the State to adequately fund its K-12 public school and public school academies to meet State prescribed student proficiency standards on the fifth grade math and reading portions of the MEAP.
A Weighted Least Squares (WLS) multiple regression analysis was conducted which assisted in identifying several public school and public school academies whose students were achieving two or more standard deviations above their predicted level of student achievement. Three districts were selected from this list and were further analyzed based on their unique demographic and cost differences to determine the added expenditures needed by the state to adequately fund its schools. Based on this study's findings, the costs to the state varied depending on the selected model district's student performance levels and demographics. The amounts ranged as low as $90 million to over $15 billion dollars.
The WLS regression analysis also revealed a district's size, geographic location, percent African American, percent Hispanic, percent economically disadvantaged, percent special education, and per-pupil foundation allowance were all statistically significant in predicting fifth grade composite math and reading MEAP test scores.
When Michigan lawmakers decide its time to adequately fund the State's schools so every child will have the opportunity to realize success on its standardized assessment (MEAP), they will need to employ the use of one or more of these methods to better forecast future education budgets.
Wightman, Sean Haskin, "Examining The Costs Of Providing An Adequate Education For Michigan's K-12 Public School Students" (2014). Wayne State University Dissertations. 937.