Date of Award

4-1995

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Patrick Jenlink

Second Advisor

Dr. David Cowden

Third Advisor

Dr. Ronald Crowell

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate if a relationship existed between per pupil funding levels and achievement levels of students in the state of Michigan. The study sought to apply objective, systematic research techniques to a question which receives much emotional, unscientific discussion. To that end, the study asked the question whether a connection existed between student achievement as measured by Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) tests and the amount of per pupil funding in the student’s school district.

In an attempt to address these concerns this study examined two sets of variables. One set represented educational effectiveness and the second represented educational costs. The dependent variables were measures of educational effectiveness. Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) test scores represented the measures of effectiveness. Twelve sets of test scores were selected at different grade levels and content areas. The independent variables were measures of educational cost. Three variables were selected and consisted of average teacher salaries, per pupil expenditures in operating, and per pupil spending in instructional categories.

The findings of this investigation indicated little, if any, correlation existed between the sets of variables studied. Interpretational guidelines suggest that Pearson (r) values between -.30 and .30 are indicative of little if any relationship. Correlation coefficients between current operating expenses and MEAP scores varied between - .054 and. 198. Correlation coefficients between instructional spending and MEAP scores varied between -.031 and .216. Correlation coefficients between average teacher salaries and MEAP scores varied between -.032 and .256. While mostly positive, these correlation coefficients were weak enough to suggest that little, if any, correlation existed between MEAP scores and the level of per pupil funding in the categories of Current Operating Expenses or Instructional Spending or MEAP scores and average teacher salaries. Based on these findings, the null hypothesis that there was no correlation between student academic achievement and the amount of per pupil funding in the student’s school district in the State of Michigan was accepted in this study.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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