School District Efficiency as Measured by the Financial Allocation Study of Texas
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The purpose of this record of study was to analyze efficiency in Texas public schools through the use of the Financial Allocation Study of Texas (FAST). A quantitative analysis of the FAST was conducted using ordered logistic regressions as a means of determining which factors contribute to the efficiency. Data from the three years of the FAST were used in the analysis. The biggest predictor of efficiency in the FAST was the percent of students who were economically disadvantaged. Additionally, it was found that larger districts are more efficient than smaller districts. Efficient districts spend less overall per pupil in 9 of the 15 functions of spending reported by schools and spend less on a variety of programs, including regular education, special education, and athletics/cocurricular spending. However, it was found that spending in the area of bilingual/ESL increased efficiency. It was also found that districts with high property wealth were less efficient overall and that the student/teacher ratio and teacher experience was negatively correlated with efficiency. The implications of this research include the need for districts wishing to become more efficient to increase the class size of classrooms and focus spending on improving the achievement of economically disadvantaged students. In addition, districts should focus resources on campus level administrators rather than instructional or curriculum specialists.
Steele, Ryan (2013). School District Efficiency as Measured by the Financial Allocation Study of Texas. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from