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Journal for Effective Schools

Volume 11, Number 1

Before NCLB, the participating school business officials ranked employee compensation, governing board fiscal policies, state and federal laws and regulations, number of students affected, and internal-organizational political pressures as the highest budget criteria (see Table 1). However, currently (post NCLB), school business officials selected state and federal laws and regulations, accreditation standards, employee compensation, number of students affected, and tied at a mean of 3.5, governing board fiscal policies and program quality and evaluation results as the most relevant to budget decision-making.

Table 1 TOP FIVE MEANS (PRE AND POST NCLB) Budget Decision Making Criteria

M

Pre-NCLB (before 2002) Employee Compensation

3.62

Governing Board Fiscal Policies

3.54

State and Federal Laws and Regulations

3.54

Number of Students Affected

3.46

Internal-Organizational Political Pressures

3.08

Post-NCLB (2008) State and Federal Laws and Regulations

3.93

Accreditation Standards

3.93

Employee Compensation

3.79

Number of Students Affected

3.64

Governing Board Fiscal Policies and Program Quality and Evaluation Results

3.50

The change in relative importance of the selected budget decision-making criteria is noteworthy as one would expect the results to be similar unless a contravening force explains the change. While causality cannot be proved, it may be that NCLB has been such a force for change. This may help explain the increase in 73

Journal for Effective Schools - Spring 2013  

Vol. 11, #1

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