Date of Award

Winter 1995

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Mark Fravel

Committee Member

Jeck E. Robinson

Committee Member

Maurice Berube

Committee Member

Rebecca S. Bowers

Committee Member

Donna B. Evans


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of the recommendations of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) on State funding for the school divisions in the Virginia cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach.

The case study design provided the framework for the examination of the data. Records available from the Virginia State Department of Education, the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, the Virginia Education Association (VEA), and the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission were reviewed to develop the research questions and the interview guides. Interviews were held with key persons in the State Department of Education, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, former members of the Virginia Governor's staff, leaders in the Virginia Education Association, and key individuals in the local school divisions included in the study.

The JLARC study did not specifically examine the effects of the recommendations on urban divisions. The analyses completed by the VEA and other agencies did not give specific consideration to urban areas. This study examined these effects on four school divisions located in areas designated by the U.S. Census Bureau as urbanized.

The findings of this study indicated that the JLARC recommendations adopted by the General Assembly affected State funding to education for the four cities used as case studies. The urban characteristics of each city had an influence on the State funding based on the changes to the methodology used by the State Department of Education to provide funding for the school divisions initiated by the results of the JLARC reports. Norfolk and Portsmouth increased the percentage of their budgets attributed to State funding during the years after the implementation of the JLARC recommendations, but Chesapeake and Virginia Beach did not. None of the four school divisions favored the JLARC recommendations when questioned in interviews.

Two major changes in the method used to calculate State funding to localities were included in the JLARC reports that were adopted by the General Assembly. The first was the use of a statistical technique known as the linear weighted estimator to calculate salaries for positions funded under the State funding formula. These prevailing salary numbers had been higher in the previous method used by the State and this change impacted State contributions to all divisions. The second major change was the number of instructional positions funded under the JLARC recommendations. The JLARC positions were based on the Standards of Quality and the State Accreditation Standards and were actually higher than the totals previously used by the State Department of Education.

The characteristics of the four cities used as case studies caused varied effects to be felt from the JLARC recommendations that changed the way the State funded the local education programs. Despite the facts provided in this study, the local school divisions and the professional organizations in Virginia had a negative reaction to the JLARC recommendations.


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