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ERIC Number: ED306641
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Nov
Pages: 41
Abstractor: N/A
Understanding Resource Allocation in High Schools.
Hartman, William T.
Despite commonly held views concerning educators' rational decision-making behavior, there are competing interpretations of school personnels' objective, actions, and decision-making processes. Alternative explanations emphasize bureaucratic routine, administrative convenience, educator self-interest, and political motivations, rather than improvement of student outcomes. The resource allocation process offers a window through which important building-level educational choices may be observed and analyzed. Drawing on a 1985 study, this paper analyzes the behaviors and processes of major participants in the resource allocation process, the manner in which the school actually operated, and school personnel's underlying motivations. Three contrasting perspectives or models (rational, bureaucratic organization, and public choice) are introduced and explained. During 1984-85, case studies were made of four high schools located in three separate Oregon school districts. The schools were chosen for differences in budgeting procedures, instructional and administrative arrangements, size, and socioeconomic status of student populations. Data were gathered through observation and interviews. Results showed that resource allocation in the high schools studied did not operate in a rational manner. Linking resource distribution to improving student outcomes was never explicitly considered. The combination of the bureaucratic organization model (to explain how) and the public choice model (to explain why) provides the most thorough explanation of the resource allocation process observed in these high schools. Included are 19 references. (MLH)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Oregon