Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Education

First Advisor

Douglass R. Davis

Second Advisor

Dennis Bunch

Third Advisor

Jill Cabrera


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



The purpose of this was to examine the relationship between Mississippi public school district per pupil funding disaggregated by funding source (total, federal, state, and local) and student academic achievement gaps within districts based on poverty and race. Pearson's correlational coefficient was used to assess the relationship across 139 Mississippi school districts during fiscal year 2019. State Special Schools, Charter Schools, and Agriculture Schools were excluded from the analysis. School districts lacking a sufficient number of African American and Economically Disadvantaged children to calculate a school proficiency score in ELA and Math were also removed. Thus, the analysis consisted of 122 districts in ELA and 87 in Math. Federal and local per pupil funding reported a more significant impact on closing achievement gaps between Economically Disadvantaged and non-Economically Disadvantaged and African American and non-African American white students. The least correlated predictors were state-level and total per pupil funding. The research findings are consistent with prior research findings advocating the importance of targeting school funding to the academic needs of all children because targeted funds have a greater impact on raising the achievement levels of children based on poverty and race.



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