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ERIC Number: ED550730
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 149
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-2679-3574-8
The Impact of Educational Leadership Decisions on the Delivery of Special Education Services in School Districts
Edwards, Brian S.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, American International College
The number of children (ages 3-21) in the United States designated as having a specific learning disability is over seven (7) million. Providing the programs, services and funding necessary to deliver appropriate programs and services to this special population is a challenge in virtually all school districts across the country. The role of school leaders such as superintendents, principals, and special education directors in the delivery of special education services is both intense and diverse. Paradoxically, the only constant in these school leaders' ever increasing responsibilities is that of change--change in the physical environment, change in the curriculum, change in staff, change in the type of special needs students emerging, and significant change in the budgets meant to serve this special population. It is critical that all school leaders and other special education stakeholders must become the primary catalysts in their respective roles in order for these changes to become both positive and lasting. The research methodology for this study utilized a qualitative analysis approach targeting senior school district leadership's perceptions of those changes that manifest themselves into challenges affecting decision-making in the delivery of special education services. Specifically, senior leaders as defined by holding the title of superintendent, assistant superintendent, finance officer, principal, and special education director. This method of inquiry was chosen in order to identify and analyze perceptions of these senior educational leaders who are charged with making the programmatic, legal, and fiscal decisions impacting special education delivery. This qualitative research process was implemented as part of an overall review and analysis of an identified district's special education department. From this study, the themes of 1) Staff Accountability; 2) District Special Education Philosophy (RtI); 3) Ethics; and 4) Funding emerged and were documented through a qualitative study based in grounded theory. The research outcome has clear connections to the literature on the impact of educational leadership decisions on the delivery of special education services in school districts across the country. Additionally, the analysis of the data collected from this research project revealed District leaders' perceptions, beliefs, and recommendations relative to special education programming, management, and budgeting. Further study of the cultural, financial, and professional implications of this area of inquiry will be significant in providing important insights into the decision-making process of senior school leaders and, in turn, the impact those decisions have on the delivery system of special education. Studying the varied styles and resulting impact of leadership decision-making on the success or failure of special education service delivery can make a contribution to understanding such traits with the goal of implementing real and positive change in future practices. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A