This study compared administrative expenditures among 542 traditional school districts and 258 charter schools in Michigan, exploring whether one organizational model might better minimize administrative spending. A non-experimental correlational research design was used with 2014-15 data available from public sources. Both a replication and modification of an earlier study (Arsen & Ni, 2012) were used to model all analyses.
Multiple regression analyses were used to explore the predictive value of inputs on school, central office, and total administrative expenditures. Inputs included student enrollment, total revenues, percentage of students identified for special education services, percentage of students qualified for free/reduced meals, and whether the district/charter was in a rural area. Inputs specific to charter schools included years in operation, grades offered, and type of charter (for-profit, non-profit, or independent).
Replication of the original model found that charter schools spent more dollars and a higher percentage of dollars on administration, whether it was school, central office, or total administration. The results of the regression for total administration (including the additional variables for charter schools) indicated that the model explained 67.0% of the variance (R2 =.670, F(11,788)=145.17, p<.01). Other than charter type, all variables were statistically significant. The charter variable had the largest coefficient—controlling for other factors, charter schools spent $775 more per student on total administration with $617 going to central office administration and $158 going to school administration. These findings were consistent with the original study. Based on these data, Michigan charter schools are not minimizing administrative spending in comparison to districts. There was no statistically significant difference in administrative spending among the types of charter schools. Further research is needed as to why this difference in administrative spending persists between the organizational models of traditional school districts and charter schools.
|Commitee:||Flowers, Claudia, Good, Amy, Lock, Corey|
|School:||The University of North Carolina at Charlotte|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, School administration|
|Keywords:||Administrative spending, Charter and traditional school districts, Educational organization|
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