Effects of decreasing state aid on school budgeting, organization, and program

Thomas Peter Higgins, Fordham University


In the early 1990s, the national and regional economic climate caused school districts throughout the country to experience severe fiscal pressures. In some states, the economic difficulties reached the schools in the form of decreased revenue from state aid. This case study examined how one school district was affected by the loss in state aid and the resultant decisions it made to address that loss in revenue. Data sources included interviews with students, parents, teachers, administrators, and board of education members as well as field notes from public sessions and related budget development documents. Twenty-eight themes emerged from the findings which served to answer the five research questions related to how the goals of the organization were affected by external pressures, how decisions were made to address the budgetary pressures, how the culture of the organization influenced the process, how the operation of the organization was affected, and how individuals in the organization were affected. The results confirmed the theoretical underpinnings of the study, suggesting that school districts as organizations are not orderly and rational entities. Rather, they respond to external pressures in a disjointed manner, being influenced by the culture of the organization, the values of the community, and an interplay among problems, solutions, participants, pressures, and preferences.

Subject Area

School administration|School finance

Recommended Citation

Higgins, Thomas Peter, "Effects of decreasing state aid on school budgeting, organization, and program" (1995). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9543453.