Term of Award

Fall 2004

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Administration

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

Michael D. Richardson

Committee Member 1

T. C. Chan

Committee Member 2

Catherine c. Wooddy

Committee Member 3

Fred Page

Abstract

Although taxes have risen across the nation, funding for public school capital projects still remains a critical need in education. The public outcry for no new taxes has given arise to various types of creative funding for capital projects. The use of a 1-cent sales tax for educational purposes is one type of new funding for capital projects. This study was a mixed-method, descriptive design study gathering quantitative and qualitative data on the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum in Georgia. Fifty-seven school districts in Georgia, with an approved SPLSOT referendum on March 18. 1997, along with four school districts never initiating a SPLOST referendum, were the subjects for the study. Quantitative data revealed the use of the SPLOST referendum for the retirement of general obligation revealed the use of the SPLOST referendum for the retirement of general obligation revenue for the sales tax for general capital project improvements. Urban school districts used the SPLOST revenue to obtain and construct new capital projects.

The millage rate of school districts in Georgia increased during the duration of the SPLOST referendum. The use of the SPLOST referendum revenue for capital projects did not give any relief to the property owners in Georgia through the reduction in property taxes.

Interviews with superintendents revealed their appreciation of the opportunity to utilize the SPLOST referendum for capital projects. Superintendents stated the importance of the SPLOST referendum and how it allowed districts to accomplish projects that otherwise would not have been addressed. Superintendents from school districts with no SPLOST referendum were interviewed. The factors that hinder a district from initiating a SPLOST referendum were reviewed. The results indicated that no single factor hindered a district from a SPLOST initiation.

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