Environmental and organizational variables influencing revenue policy in twenty-two Texas school districts

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1975

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This project analyzed the influence of environmental and organizational characteristics on revenue policy in twenty-two Texas school districts. It was part of a larger comparative study, the Texas Cities Project, funded by the Institute for Urban Studies of the University of Houston. Each of the districts studied was primarily located in a medium-sized city, with population ranging from 50,000 to 300,000. Aggregate data on wealth, size and racial ethnic character of population, district size in square miles, and education levels was analyzed along with attitudinal-organizational data obtained by interviewing 140 school board members and superintendents in the twenty-two districts. The data was submitted to multiple regression analysis in order to determine the relation between environmental and organizational variables and four dependent variables which were dollar amounts of local, state, federal, and total revenue per average daily attendant per district. The findings were as follows. First, an environmental variable, estimated actual market value, was the single best predictor of local revenue. Another environmental variable, percent Spanish surname school population, was the best predictor of federal aid. While market value was the single best predictor of state aid, organizational variables regressed without the presence of environmental variable, together accounted for 72 percent of variance in state funds. Of these, the highest correlation was between the division of labor variable, which measured the extent to which boards give their superintendent policy initiative, and amounts of state aid. The correlations and. regressions for the independent variables and total amounts of revenue were very similar to those for local revenue, forcing the conclusion that state and federal aid to school districts does not equalize revenue for these districts.

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