The evolution and effect of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission's reports on Funding the standards of quality, part I and part 2 as seen through key actor interviews
Childs, William P.
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The purpose of this study was to detail the history of the formulation of the JLARC studies in 1986 and 1988 on funding the Standards of Quality, background surrounding that formulation, political reaction, and the effect that the reports had regarding changes in the funding methodology for public schools in the Commonwealth as viewed through the recollections of key actors involved in the policy making process. The key actor interview methodology provided the research basis for this qualitative study. Historic events were chronicled through a review of official documents, newspaper accounts, academic publications, and private correspondence. The research framework utilized application of the policy cycle as a reference for the changes in policy. Recollections were validated by triangulation. The history included essential employment of political science, quantitative studies in educational finance, and methods of collection of oral history from participants. The focus of the study attempted to answer several key organizational questions. The findings indicated that a limited number of key actors provided an accurate history of the events, that JLARC operated exclusively as a legislative agency designed to ascertain the efficiency of state government, that legislative members of JLARC had tremendous influence, that Governor Baliles astutely incorporated elements of the JLARC studies into his educational agenda for political purposes, that Governor Baliles was able to effectively manage his proposals through the General Assembly while mitigating public opposition, and that there was no legislative-executive collusion in this change in policy. The study further discovered that within the area of appropriations, JLARC professional staff had a profound impact on funding procedures and that JLARC itself can act as a quasilegislature outside of public view due to the manner in which budgets are passed in the General Assembly. This study reviewed both studies and detailed the effect of the linear estimator as the mandated method of calculating the costs of the Standards of Quality. It also documented the continuing disparity in educational equity in Virginia since the implementation of the changes in 1988. Differing perspectives of the use and impact of the controversial linear estimator were presented and explained.
- Doctoral Dissertations