Publication Date: 2003-12-00
Author: Roellke, Christopher
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools
Resource Allocation in Rural and Small Schools. ERIC Digest.
This Digest reviews contemporary research on resource allocation issues
in rural and
Rural districts across the country have invested heavily to meet higher
FACTORS AFFECTING RESOURCE ALLOCATION DECISIONS IN RURAL AND SMALL SCHOOLS
Miles and Darling-Hammond (1998) identified structural constraints that can complicate the resource allocation process, including (1) fragmented school schedules, (2) inflexible job definitions for teachers, and (3) specialized programs that may be peripheral to the academic mission. Rural and small schools must be particularly attentive to these constraints as they often confront a series of resource allocation challenges not fully shared by their larger urban and suburban counterparts (Brent, Roellke, & Monk, 1997).
Local education agencies, for example, are required to follow federal
It is important to consider this staffing complexity in light of the
new teacher quality
Despite these resource constraints, many researchers point to the benefits
MAKING COST-EFFECTIVE RESOURCE ALLOCATION DECISIONS
The educational policy terrain continues to be flooded with options
like class size
A series of meta-analyses and literature reviews by Hanushek (1981,
WHOLE-SCHOOL REFORM AS A POTENTIAL GUIDE FOR RESOURCE ALLOCATION
Comprehensive and whole-school reform models have received considerable attention in education reform circles as promising alternatives for improving student performance.
This approach to reform is attractive in that each model prescribes
a configuration of
Research that examines both the implementation process and achievement
RESOURCE STRATEGIES FOR SMALL, RURAL, LOW-INCOME SCHOOLS
In our current environment of fiscal austerity, it is quite possible
that rural educators will need to rely more heavily on alternative revenue
streams to support programmatic initiatives and other reform efforts. Although
it is possible to increase operating funds through challenges to state
funding formulas, this type of change is difficult to leverage, particularly
in the short term (Roellke, Green, & Zielewski, in press). More immediate
benefits can be achieved through reconfiguration of existing resources,
a strategy employed by many of the whole-school reform models discussed
above (Picus, 2000; Rice, 2001). Researchers have described strategies,
for example, for shared use of facilities, partnering with other community
agencies, and creative financing of capital
School leaders and policymakers sometimes also take advantage of a broader resource base than traditional federal, state, and local tax revenue streams (Haas, 2000). Examples include fiscal and personnel support derived from nontraditional sources, including private foundations, volunteer networks, and other human service agencies.
The Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP) is a federal grant program
These and other nontraditional resources can provide for a variety of
school services, including parental involvement activities, tutoring, vocational
counseling, technological enhancements, literacy programs and teacher recruitment
Educators are under increasing pressure from policymakers and the public
(1) For a review of the evidence of comprehensive school reform models
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Bifulco, R. (2002). Can whole-school reform improve the productivity of urban schools? The evidence on three models. In C. Roellke & J. K. Rice (Eds.), Fiscal policy in urban education: A volume in research in education fiscal policy and practice (pp. 11-35). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 471 163)
Bingler, S., Diamond, B. M., Hill, B., Hoffman, J. L., Howley, C. B., Lawrence, B. K., et al. (2002). Dollars & sense: The cost effectiveness of small schools. Washington, DC: Rural School and Community Trust. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 473 168)
Borman, G., Hewes, G., Overman, L., & Brown, S. (2001). Comprehensive
Brent, B. O., Roellke, C. F., & Monk, D. H. (1997). Understanding teacher resource allocation in New York state secondary schools: A case study approach. Journal of Education Finance, 23(2), 207-233.
Erlichson, B. A., & Goertz, M. (2002). Whole-school reform and school-based budgeting in New Jersey: Three years of implementation. In C. Roellke & J. K. Rice (Eds.), Fiscal policy in urban education. A volume in research in education fiscal policy and practice (pp. 37-64). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 471 163)
Haas, T. (2000). Balance due: Increasing financial resources for small
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Hanushek, E. A. (1996). School resources and student performance. In
Hanushek, E. A. (1997). Assessing the effects of school resources on
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Hertling, E. (1999). Implementing whole-school reform. ERIC Digest.
Krueger, A. B. (2002). Understanding the magnitude and effect of class size on student achievement. In L. Mishel & R. Rothstein (Eds.), The Class Size Debate (pp. 7-36). Washington, DC: Economic Policy Institute.
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Roellke, C. F., Green, P., & Zielewski, E. (In press). School finance
Roellke, C., & Rice, J. K. (2002). Fiscal policy in urban education. A volume in research in education fiscal policy and practice. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 471 163)
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