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Federal and state governments have discussed public education reform for several decades. Mcdermott (2006) points out improving the educational system is being hampered by divergence of public schools' goals with those targets set by the local governments. Sternberg and Coleman (1994) explain that apathy among school administrators; faculty and parents have hampered attempts to improve American public schools' performance.
While additional laws have been passed to remedy this situation, such as the Leave No Child Behind in 2001, the situation remains problematic, says Mcdermott (2006). According to Mcdermott, much work remains to be done to encourage public
school innovation in return for additional government funding. In the 1990s, Sternberg and Coleman (1994) pointed out that while student performance have improved and federal and state governments have increased financial support of public schools, many students do not learn adequately during their years-long stay in those public schools.
These funding issues may raise the possibility of public schools raising funds through their own efforts. The main challenge is the viability of these means with regards to improved student performance.
This study focuses on whether local governments allow public schools to raise their own funds. The study aims to specifically address the following issues: a.) how much a public school needs to raise in order to fund its programs? b.) how much does this school spends for those programs (if they are existing) and c.) how effective the school in implementing supplementary programs in within the milestones set by the authorities.
This study aims to prove whether allowing public schools to raise funds will help improve their performance. The study further seeks to analyze the effect of allowing external fund sourcing of public schools to improvements of the student's performance. The coverage of the study shall be the school's population, the school administrators, faculty, students and concerned parents. Results of this study are expected to facilitate the clarification of issues pertaining to the public school funding and the performance of the students.
I also intend to cover in this study a population composed of the school's administrators, faculty, immediate adviser,
students and concerned parents. Results of this study are expected to clarify issues pertaining to public school funding vis-à-vis students' performance.
The downtrend in terms of education spending of the state of Arizona per individual student has been the cause of a lot of discussion concerning the state of education in the country. According to the Census Bureau data for state and local governments, the current operations funding for elementary and secondary education in the state of Arizona is just about $6,472 per student, or $2,666 less than the national average. Public spending for elementary and secondary education has also fallen below the national average with Arizona ranking at 17 percent below average.
While there is a decline in terms of government spending for education in Arizona the demand for public education is much higher given the fact that there are few private schools in Arizona. This conflict leads to a downtrend in the quality of education, because providing for the needs of students would mean financing it. With subsidies for education dwindling, the ability to provide for the needs of students for quality education has naturally suffered setbacks. Based on the same source stated above, statistics shows that Arizona has a disproportionate share of disadvantage students compared to other states in the nation. In fact less than half of those who do graduate from Arizona High schools are mostly eligible fro admission to state universities in the country. Those who do get accepted are found to
have deficiencies. This kind of situation can only be addressed by having adequate funds and not by cutting back on it. One remedy that some groups see to remedy the situation is to devolve responsibility by allowing schools the autonomy to find sources of funding and income generation to help fill the gap between the actual educational needs of students and the resources available.
The problems that arises in relation to this solution and which this research wishes to clarify are:
How effective are individual schools in developing programs aimed at income generation? And do schools have the adequate personnel to oversee such activities?
What are the educational programs or how does income generated be used in the actual application of concrete steps to address the needs of the individual students?
How does spending for student needs and cutting back on this spending correlate with student academic performance or development within the school?
For this type of study, the descriptive survey method is needed in gathering and interpreting data for this study. Respondents for this study will be composed of students, alumni, faculty including department heads and advisers of special courses of _( school's name).
The survey method that will be used for this study will rely on the development of a survey questionnaire aimed at gathering data concerning their educational needs, how is it addressed and how does addressing it correlate with their performance as students. The survey will used a
random sampling among groups within the education sector particularly within the primary and secondary educational system.
The survey questionnaire will also factor in the study variables. The independent variables are variables that when manipulated can cause a change in the situation of the dependent variable. In this study the independent variable pertains to the spending allotted for educational programs etc. and how its maximization or minimization can affect the dependent variable which is the performance of students in school.
The data collected will be segregated and analyzed by developing a table which shows data pertaining to current status of educational funding and spending per student for the specific school year, and another table showing student performance for the same school year. A third table correlating data from table one and two will also be developed to present the correlation of the two data.
Main Study Variables
To achieve the objectives of the research study, the following variables apply:
Independent Variables - The study of the independent variable shall take into account the current budget allocations for _____________ (school) for each year and the amount of financial resource that the
school can access to finance its programs. The amount of the funds that the school receives may significantly effect the implementation of the programs aimed at developing and enhancing student performance. The number of available funding which can be accessed is perceived to have an effect on the availability of funds for capacity enhancing activities. Additional school programs are necessary
to facilitate the development of teachers and further improve the learning and comprehension outcomes of students. Capacity enhancing programs maybe initiated and developed to include training workshops for teachers and instructors, orientation workshops on new educational course materials such as computer soft wares and online libraries.
Dependent Variables - The dependent variables for the study shall consist of the level of performance of public schools students. This will be illustrated through a series of interviews of the respondents pertaining to scores and rankings achieved in a particular period. A series of interviews shall be organized for the school administrator to determine the status of financial allocations for the school including potential fund sources. Details of the existing and potential funding grants shall be discussed including its corresponding financial allocation for capacity enhancing programs.
Limitations, Delimitations and Significance
The research study shall focus on the cases of public schools in Arizona. Respondents shall be obtained within the identified public schools and shall not include private learning institutions or public schools in nearby states. The study seeks to identify the effects of possible increase in funding allocation to the development and performance of its students.
To be able to gather accurate and significant data, the following questions shall be asked to the corresponding interviewees:
How long have you studied in this school?
During major examinations, how often do you receive the following grades, please indicate the frequency and duration after each choice.
A, A+, A- ____________; B-, B+, B ____________
C, C+, C- ____________; D _____________
Do you think that the existing curriculum of your school is sufficient to provide you with necessary teachings and learnings for your chosen career path? Why?
Aside from the existing curriculum in your school, do you have any particular filed of interest that is not included in the academic subjects taught in your school?
How would you rate the performance of your students for each major examination?
What specific fields do your students express interest in? Are these subjects integrated in your curriculum?
Based on their particular field of interest, does the school provide informational and learning materials, sufficient equipments and adequate learning facilities for your students? What are the observed effects in the provision of the said materials and equipments to the performance and over-all learning of your students?
How much funding do you receive for operational expenses of the school? Are these sufficient to provide quality education for the students of your school?
Do you receive external fund grants from other donors? How are these grants allocated for entire budget of the school?
Are there any specific priority programs in your school? If yes, please describe it in detail.
What are the specific field of interest that your students are most engaged in? Are these programs sustainable? please provide a detailed answer.
How would you assess the performance of the students in your school?
Theoretical Orientation and Conceptual Framework
This study utilizes a descriptive research design that seeks to show the relationship between student performance and spending for their education needs. The first data that will be gathered through a survey questionnaire will be a quantitative account of government expenditure per student, the actual needs and expenses of an average student, and how is this being provided. The following are its constructs: a) how much a school may earn when it raises funds by itself; b.) gathering feedback and opinions of respondents on this issue and, c.) evaluating the potential efficacy of programs aimed at supplementing student education.
After which an empirical survey will also be gathered that will explore data regarding the performance of students and how the lack of material resources or access to materials can lead to a decline in academic performance. The following are the constructs that will be addressed by the second questionnaire: a) Do you think that the existing curriculum of your school is sufficient to provide you with necessary teachings and
learnings for your chosen career path? Why?
b) What are your needs as students to help you achieved your goals? c) Are these needs realizable, and is it provided for by the school system or does the student have access to it.
The findings from these will then be correlated by evaluating the trend in terms of academic performance in relation to spending for the needs of per student and providing access for student educational needs.
4. Literature Review
In Robert J. Franciosi's The Rise and Fall of American Public Schools, a comparative figure of the country's public spending on education was discussed. The post-war education scenario depicts the growth of education spending share of GDP. The share increased from 2.3. percent in 1949 to 4.6 in 1975.
The same studies show that, over the past 30 years, education spending across states has been independent of the size of the student population. That is, the amount a state spends on education depends on the income (Franciosi, 2004, p. 24)
Compared to the beginning of the twentieth century, public schools at the beginning of the twenty-first have more of practically everything : more resources divided more equally, more children, more types of classes, more responsibilities, more interference from higher levels of (Franciosi, 2004, p. 180)
Accountability reforms seek to put into place incentives to induce public school administrators and teachers to meet selected objectives. To do this, accountability reforms need two features. First, they require an inventory
of selected objectives.
Second, they need some authority outside of the schools that evaluates the schools' success and failure in meeting the objectives and, based upon that evaluation, has the power to mete out re- wards and punishments to schools. (Franciosi, 2004, p. 182)
The Syracuse University School opened a new building last August in time for the start of fall classes. Dean David Rubin opines the construction is another enhancement to the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications' operations. He utilized the Newhouse family's $15 million gift in order to raise funds to complete the new building. It is estimated the building have cost $31.6 million. Moreover, there are new high-tech equipment changing the school's curricula (Mihailidis & Sheehan, 2007).
The set of feasible policies available to any policy authority-whether a principal, school board, legislature, or judge-is bounded by a policy frontier. This frontier is determined by the budget and constitutional constraints, social norms, the expertise of the authority, the problem of con- trolling large organizations of human beings, and the limits of written laws and policies when confronted by the diversity and uncertainty of the real world. The budget available to a policy authority is perhaps its most prominent, immediate, and continual limitation. (Franciosi, 2004, p. 185)
According to Chester E. Finn Jr., "We conclude that charter schools are the most promising education reform alive in America today." He added that, contrary to critics' assertions, charter schools do provide educational assistance to children needing supplementary learning, among other benefits. Finn also adds that " Charter schools are attracting needy kids, committed parents, great teachers, and appear to us to be doing a very good job for less money than regular schools are spending." The strongest state laws have permitted the charter schools to run independently and have an overall control over the staff and budget; if they do not implement this they are seen as weak institutions in the community.