Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

William K. Poston, Jr.


The purpose of this quantitative study was to provide information and assistance to Iowa policy-makers as the July 2001 sunset date approaches for expiration of the current public school funding Law; This study addressed the support for preserving and continuing the current funding policies, or pursuing changes in those policies. Board of education members, superintendents, teachers, and business managers were the subjects of the study (n = 289) as these individuals are charged with the efficient delivery of public education in Iowa;A seven member panel of experts in Iowa school finance developed the survey as an appropriate established instrument was not available. The panel identified seven Financial Allocation Policy Areas (FAPA) considered to be crucial to the funding of Iowa's public schools. Individual Likert-type survey items were developed under each FAPA to measure the responses;Areas receiving universal endorsement from all job responsibility groups included increased support for early childhood educational programs and the support to correct the inadequacy of special education funding levels. All groups gave the highest priority to assuring that all students had equal educational opportunities regardless of their community of residence;Board of education members and superintendents responded to the educational funding issues of this study with no differences in their responses due to school district size, geographic location in the state, or experience in their current school responsibility;It may be reasoned from this study that all surveyed respondent groups are desirous of moderate, but not radical, changes to the current funding formula. Data analyses also determined that while each job responsibility group may have particular issues on which they differ, there is a high correlation of agreement in their basic priorities with regard to the funding of our public schools;The message for policy-makers is to review the current legislation for improvements to better meet the needs of students and communities. This study shows school groups supporting moderate change but not wholesale redrafting of the present school funding Law; It is also advised that legislators be encouraged to resist the temptation of political expediency to merely re-enact the current laws.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

James Richard Scharff



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

157 pages