An analysis of program differences between selected low and high expenditure level school districts in the state of Texas, 1973-1974



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This study sought to investigate the similarities and differences of financial expenditure by program and by object between selected low and high pupil-expenditure school districts in the State of Texas. Also an effort was made to determine significant differences in character and scope of programs associated with low and high-expenditure school districts. The representative sample consisted of 30 low-expenditure and 30 high-expenditure school districts having at least 1,000 average daily attendance and 12 grades. Budgetary data, obtained from official school district budgets, were compiled as per-pupil expenditure for comparability. Six low-expenditure and six high-expenditure districts were observed with respect to the character and scope of sub-programs. Interview data were recorded by means of a structured instrument. Hypotheses 1. There is no difference between low and high-expenditure school districts in respect to budgeted allocation of the following programs: instruction, instructional related services, pupil services, administration, plant maintenance and operation, community services, debt service, and corresponding sub-programs. Differences in total mean expenditures of low and high-expenditure school districts were found to be statistically significant for each sub-program listed in the Texas state budget form and the first hypothesis was rejected. 2. The measurable differences between low and high-expenditure districts are greater in some programs than in others. Expenditure differences of the programs and sub-programs were found to be in variance as between the low and high-expenditure districts. The total mean expenditure in programs and sub-programs in high-expenditure districts was found to be $1,273 per pupil) in low-expenditure districts it was $757. The mean total expenditure difference was $516 per pupil more in the high-expenditure districts. When this measurable difference is distributed by programs and sub-programs in the following table, it is evident that variance exists as between low and high-expenditure districts with respect to variance in the allocated percentage of total budgets, mean difference of per pupil expenditure, and in percentage of difference in expenditures. 3. The differences between programs of low and high-expenditure school districts are not only in the amount of expenditure but in the character and scope of services. [...]