Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Who Wins When Mayors Take Over School Districts? Changes in School-Level Expenditure Patterns in a Mayoral Control District
by Furdell, Kimberly Freeman, Ph.D., The George Washington University, 2011, 98; 3466833
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation focuses on change in school district governance from elected to mayoral appointed school boards, and its relationship with resource allocation in high-poverty and high-minority schools. Spending patterns in one mayoral takeover district, Cleveland, Ohio, which switched to mayoral control in late 1998, are compared with those in Columbus, Ohio, using a pretest-posttest comparison group quasi-experimental research design. The tested hypotheses are: (1) Mayoral takeover is related to increased spending in schools with higher percentages of low-income and minority students relative to schools with fewer low-income and minority students; and (2) Mayoral takeover is related to an increased proportion of spending on instruction and professional development in schools with higher percentages of low-income and minority students compared to such spending in schools with fewer low-income and minority students. The hypotheses are tested using time-series cross-section modeling for the 1995-95 through 2005-06 schools years.

I find that mayoral control is related to greater spending in schools with higher percentages of black students, in total expenditures and in the instruction, pupil support, and administration expenditures per pupil categories. Increases in percent black are negatively related to total spending and categorical spending on instruction, pupil support, and administration regardless of mayoral control status. However, while schools with higher concentrations of black students are systematically more poorly funded, the difference in spending is much smaller under mayoral control. I find no evidence of a relationship between mayoral control and either total or categorical spending in schools with higher proportions of low-income students.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wolman, Harold L.
Commitee: Cordes, Joseph, Henig, Jeffrey, Nakib, Yas, Young, Garry
School: The George Washington University
Department: Public Policy and Public Administration
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 72/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Education finance, Education Policy
Keywords: Cleveland, Expenditures, Governance, Mayoral control, Mayors, Ohio, Urban education
Publication Number: 3466833
ISBN: 9781124806501
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