Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

School Referenda and Ohio Department of Education Typologies: An Investigation of the Outcomes of First Attempt School Operating Levies from 2002–2010
by Packer, Chad Douglas, Ed.D., University of Cincinnati, 2013, 168; 3599104
Abstract (Summary)

The complexities surrounding public school funding are not unique to Ohio. There have been numerous legal challenges in the State Supreme Courts and seminal cases from the U.S. Supreme Court which have assigned the practices and formulas by which schools are funded to the individual states. Although previous research has investigated voter approval related to school referenda from the 614 public school districts in Ohio, a significant question remains as to which factors are affecting the school districts and their attempts to pass school operating levies. This study focuses on seven typologies developed by the Ohio Department of Education for comparing districts based on nine demographic variables and the factors which predict the outcomes of first attempt school operating levies within each of those typologies.

The following research question was developed to provide researchers and practitioners information on factors affecting school levy referenda in Ohio public school typologies: What factors (proposed levy size in mills, length of the levy, election month, type of levy, effective millage rate, and value per pupil) are significant predictors for the passage for first attempt operating levies proposed between the years 2002 and 2010 in each of the seven Ohio Department of Education Typologies? According to the Ohio Secretary of State's certified election results, 2,199 school operating levies were on the ballot during this time frame with 327 being first attempts. These 327 first attempt school operating levies comprised the data set for this study.

Using binary logistic regression, the results of this study indicate four of the six variables tested were significant predictors of first attempt school operating levy passage. The proposed levy size in mills (Typologies 3 and 6), election month (Typology 2), type of levy (Typologies, 1, 2, 3, and 6), and effective millage rate (Typology 2 and 6) were found to be factors significant at the p < .05 level. From this, practitioners and researchers can begin to investigate how these factors are being addressed in current and future operating levies. The results of this study have presented practitioners in all 614 school districts in Ohio with evidence of the factors which affect first attempt operating levies within the different typologies. Without a radical change to Ohio's school funding formula, the practice of relying on voters in each school district to pass tax levies will remain; therefore, a "one size fits all" approach to passing proposed referenda is not recommended.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Brydon-Miller, Mary
Commitee: Hinshaw, Steven A., Swoboda, Christopher, Tracy, Robert
School: University of Cincinnati
Department: Urban Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 75/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education finance, Educational leadership, School administration
Keywords: Department of Education, Factors in school levies, Logistic regression analysis, Ohio, Operating levies, School finance, School levies
Publication Number: 3599104
ISBN: 978-1-303-48249-6
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