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Journal for Effective Schools

Volume 11, Number 1

school districts appear to be moving away from traditional line-item, incremental budgeting towards other, more results-oriented methods. Prior to NCLB, over 85% of school districts used a line-item, incremental approach; currently, school districts show almost a 50/50 split between traditional line-item methods and non-traditional methods. Significantly, since NCLB, school systems may be less focused on historical practices and are more deliberative in their funding allocations. Consequently, better budgeting practices may support improved educational programming. Are current school district budgeting practices moving away from traditional methods and towards performance-based budgeting systems? In examination as to whether school districts are becoming more performance-based in their budgeting since NCLB, survey participants were asked a number of questions about performance-based methods: did school districts use long-term and annual performance measures, performance baselines, evaluations in their budgeting methods? In addition, these questions asked if the school districts had a budgeting prioritization process, considered alternative service delivery methods, and linked resources to specific outcome goals. Findings suggest that school districts using more performance-based budgeting systems. Specifically, the school divisions represented are considering more evaluation results and performance data in the resources budgeting. In addition, it appears that school districts have increased their efforts to link funding to specific outcomes which indicates the increase of performance-based budgeting. Performance-based-Budgeting (PBB) Pre and Post NCLB Comparisons In quantitative analysis was conducted to determine the degree to which school districts utilize performance budgeting. Each question in this section of the survey addressed a major theme: strategic planning, stakeholder involvement, alternative service delivery, performance goals and indicators, data informed decision-making, program evaluation, resource reallocation, and, linking funding and results. Participants were asked to rate on a 5-scale scale (1 indicating “not at all” and 5 indicating “always”) the school district’s practices before and after NCLB. Within each theme (category), a composite mean score was calculated before and after NCLB. A comparison of the mean response appears in Table 5. Table 5 PBB PRACTICES MEAN SCORE AND PERCENTAGE CHANGE Pre-NCLB (before 2002)

Post-NCLB (currently 2008)

Performance-Based Budgeting Theme

M

SD

N

M

Strategic planning

3.61

1.21

12

4.03

76

SD 0.88

Mean % N 12

Change 12%*

Journal for Effective Schools - Spring 2013  

Vol. 11, #1

Journal for Effective Schools - Spring 2013  

Vol. 11, #1

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