Date of Award

Summer 2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning


Curriculum and Instruction

Committee Director

William Owings

Committee Member

Shana Pribesh

Committee Member

Christopher Colburn


Prior empirical research has taken many varying approaches to determine if differences in funding significantly impacts student academic achievement. However, much of these studies exhibit weak generalizability due to their limited scope, timeframe and dissimilar achievement measures. To expand upon the already robust literature in education finance this study measures interstate funding disparities via state fiscal effort and determines its impact on several measures of student academic achievement. To control for threats to external validity the research investigates the variables over ten years to determine if the relationships hold over time. Statistical measures employed within the research include bivariate correlation, simple linear regression, time lagged correlation, predictive linear regression modeling and historical panel data analysis via a least square dummy variable model. Findings established that state fiscal effort and academic achievement are not significantly correlated. Additionally, findings were inconclusive in establishing that state fiscal effort is a significant predictor of achievement. The historical relationship between the variables of state fiscal effort and academic achievement negligible given a lack of significant time lagged correlations and the breadth of calculated lead times for states to reach established levels of achievement. Lastly, in the historical panel data analysis the amount of variance explained by other variables such as race and socio economic status were much more significant compared to state fiscal effort.


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