Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Title

Equity in Mississippi: a Study of Public School Funding

Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D. in Education

First Advisor

Douglas R. Davis

Second Advisor

Jim Payne

Third Advisor

Cecil S. Weeks

Abstract

This quantitative study analyzes the level of equity of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program funding formula through an analysis of the base per-pupil per district allocation system. This study researches the levels of horizontal equity, vertical equity, and fiscal neutrality in relation to the equity designed in the original 1993 proposal. The relationship between the current levels of equity found in the Mississippi Adequate Education Program and the proposed levels of equity holds significant interest for the Mississippi state legislature and educational leaders throughout the state of Mississippi. The funding formulas for Fiscal Year 2004 and Fiscal Year 2010 are shown in relation to each other as well as in relation to the original 1993 design. The state per-pupil per district allocation before and after categorical add-ons is used to examine the equity found in the formula. Fiscal Year 2004 was the earliest funding allocation this researcher found as a complete dataset in contrast to Fiscal Year 2010 which represents the most current allocation to be funded to school districts during the course of this study. All 152 school district allocations are included in both fiscal year datasets. Both allocations are shown in relation to the original 1993 proposed design in terms of horizontal and vertical equity through range, restricted range, and federal range ratio. The horizontal coefficient of variation is also delineated in contrast to the original 1993 design. Fiscal neutrality is related through the use of a Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient and a Coefficient of Determination at the 0.01level (two tailed) of significance. The research findings reflects the Mississippi Adequate Education Program funding formula has gains in horizontal equity, a weakening vertical equity component, and is moderately positive in fiscal neutrality.

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