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|Title:||State departments of education and fiscal stress in local education agencies: A policy study|
|Author(s):||Beard, David Lee|
|Department / Program:||Education|
|Degree Granting Institution:||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
Political Science, Public Administration
|Abstract:||This policy research study sought to determine the answers to two questions: (1) Do states have definitions of fiscal strain or trouble for public school districts that are experiencing fiscal stress? (2) What state policy mechanisms exist for dealing with public school districts that are experiencing fiscal stress?
The research design involved a phone interview combined with a survey sent to selected state agencies if the agency indicated they had definitions or policies of fiscal interventions with local school districts experiencing financial difficulty. From the research findings, states were placed in five categories based on the extent of fiscal policies. Category 1 states (12) had no definition of fiscal stress for local school districts or assistance policies. Category 2 states (20) had policies that required balanced budgets or forbid deficits but had no intervention policies. Category 3 and 4 states (13) used deficits at the end of a fiscal year at the local level as a "defacto" definition of fiscal stress. These policies did bring to bear some action by the state to intervene in local school district fiscal matters. Category 5 states (5) had detailed definitions of local school district fiscal stress and assistance policies to help districts so defined. The fiscal accountability model of Hack, Edlefson, and Ogawa (1981) was used to analyze the policies. These researchers identify three types of fiscal policies: Revenue, Allocation and Management, and Expenditure. When states defined fiscal stress, policies were primarily of the expenditure type. Assistance policies were primarily of the allocation and management type. Three states with the most policies were primarily of the allocation and management type. Three states with the most elaborate policies have identified a relatively high number of fiscally stressed districts. These numbers have increased over the last three years.
The study revealed very few states (5) have comprehensive policies to deal with the problem of local school districts experiencing fiscal stress. Local control, regional governance differences, lack of perceived need, and limited state agency resources are all possible explanations for the lack of policy in this area.
|Rights Information:||Copyright 1992 Beard, David Lee|
|Date Available in IDEALS:||2011-05-07|
|Identifier in Online Catalog:||AAI9236395|