Date of Award

Summer 2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

STEM and Professional Studies

Program/Concentration

Occupational and Technical Studies

Committee Director

John M. Ritz

Committee Member

Philip A. Reed

Committee Member

Ginger S. Watson

Abstract

This research study sought to determine the effect high school completion of the agricultural career and technical education program has on the rate of return on investment by public schools in Virginia. The research questions guiding this study included: (1) Were students able to find employment related to the agricultural career and technical education program they completed, (2) What federal and state funding was allocated for students participating in the agricultural career and technical education programs in the state of Virginia, (3) Was there a significant level of tax revenues generated by incomes from those who participated in the agricultural career and technical education program, (4) Did incomes from those who participated in the agricultural career and technical education program vary among statewide planning districts, and (5) Did completion of the high school agricultural career and technical education program produce a return on investment for the Commonwealth of Virginia?

The population used for this study consisted of 9,145 high school completers of Virginia's agricultural career and technical education programs from 2001 to 2007. The data collected on the completers were obtained from student responses to a post- graduation survey administered by the Virginia Department of Education. The remaining data used in the study included state and federal funding for the agricultural career and technical education program in Virginia, incomes of the agricultural career and technical education completers, and incomes of additional laborers resulting from industry expansion and tax revenue generated from that income.

The research findings of this study indicated that investing in Virginia's agricultural career and technical education program has had a positive impact on economic activity within the agricultural industry, as well as within non-agricultural industries inside and outside the state. The researcher's estimate of total benefits (the sum of income tax and sales tax revenue) exceeded the estimate of total cost (the state and federal funding allocated to the school divisions across the state) only when including estimates of income and sales tax revenues from projected additional laborers resulting after industry expansion. Such expansion produced a positive return on investment of 24%.

DOI

10.25777/ey9x-tv31

ISBN

9781124291734

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