Term of Award

Spring 2007

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Walter S. Polka

Committee Member 1

Linda M. Arthur

Committee Member 2

Ralph Gornto

Abstract

No Child Left Behind legislation continues to be a driving force for school districts, allowing virtual schools to become a tool that supplements the curriculum of local schools by offering everything from remedial courses to advanced placement courses. Over the years, research has begun to show the effectiveness of online learning as compared to traditional classroom instruction, but the issues of funding and cost effectiveness still have questions to be resolved. In 2005, the Georgia legislature passed Senate Bill 33 creating the Georgia Virtual School. The researcher sought to provide decision makers of the Georgia Virtual School baseline data on the revenues and expenditures of the Georgia Virtual School; to compare the expenditure categories of the Georgia Virtual School with expenditure categories from different states; and finally, to make comparisons of the cost per FTE of the Georgia Virtual School with the costs per FTE of the 180 school districts in Georgia. Common descriptive statistics such as percentages, means, and standard deviations were used to analyze Georgia Virtual School revenues, expenditures, and costs per FTE; and a paired sample t-Test was used to determine if any significant differences were found between different categories within the costs per FTE. Results of the study determined the sources, amounts, and percentages of revenues; and the categories, amounts, and percentages of expenditures of the Georgia Virtual School. The study also determined that the Georgia Virtual School had a lower cost per FTE compared to any of the 180 school districts in Georgia. The researcher recommends further research to determine the cost efficiency of the Georgia Virtual School and continued state appropriations that allow all students in the state of Georgia to take needed courses from the Georgia Virtual School free of student charge.

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