Term of Award

Winter 2001

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Administration

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Michael D. Richardson

Committee Member 1

Cathy S. Jording

Committee Member 2

Bryan A. Griffin

Committee Member 3

Jackson L. Flanigan


This study examined the method that has been used to finance public education. The theoretical and historical development of educational finance was examined as well as the judicial interpretation of the purviews of equity, equality and adequacy.

In light of the foundation of educational finance, the issue of education finance in the state of Georgia is analyzed. Three phases have been delineated in the development of educational financing in Georgia. The first phase involved the Adequate Program for Education in Georgia (APEG) enacted into law in 1974. The second phase involved the "Quality Basic Education Act of 1985". The third phase involved the implementation of the "A-Plus Education Reform Act of 2000 "

In the development of educational financing in Georgia, as related to this study, four areas of finance were evaluated including instrumental costs, non instrumental costs, capital outlay, and transportation costs. The adequacy of funding was examined through the perception of superintendents as related to the era prior to the implementation of the "A-Plus Education Reform Act of 2000." Secondly, the adequacy was examined of the implementation of the Reform Act, and additionally the perceptions of adequate funding of the four areas defined earlier without restrictions of funding formulas or expenditure controls.

Fourteen county superintendents were chosen for interviews. The breakdowns of these interviews were four urban superintendents, five suburban superintendents and five rural superintendents. Additionally, counties were broken down into rich and poor counties based upon per capita income. Three of the five suburban counties were in the top twenty-five in terms of per capita income. Three of the rural counties chosen were in the top twenty-five counties in terms of per capita income. Conversely, two each of the rural and suburban counties chosen were in the lowest twenty-five counties in terms of per capita income.

The fourteen interviews took place during July and August 2001. The interviews provided a diverse range of insights from the various superintendents. In two urban counties, the interview involved individuals specifically dealing with finance, with the interview approved by the superintendents.

The study determined that the present method of financing education in Georgia includes a mixture of sources of funds. The research also found that superintendents' opinions concerning an adequate method of financing within Georgia included a mixture of sources. The funding formulas, expenditure cost controls, dependence on property taxes, use of special purpose optional sales tax, and utilization of school bonds have created a potpourri of funding sources with no standardization or uniformity statewide.

This study essentially became a starting point in scrutinizing, reassessing and defining a standardized system of financing education in Georgia. What happens next depends on GERSC, the governor, the legislators, and local school boards.


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