Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Anne Hacker


A financially secure public school district can provide children with an educational foundation that will eventually transition them into self-sufficient employed adults. These adults will become tax-paying citizens who will contribute to their local economies. The problem with one midwestern public school district is that a history of financial insecurity has affected the district's ability to provide students with all of the programs to which they are entitled. Using Baumgartner and Jones' conceptualization of punctuated equilibrium as the theoretical foundation, the purpose of this quantitative study was to determine the relationship between aspects of the Local Financial Stability and Choice Act (LFSCA) in 1 state and the educational policy outcomes in 1 affected city. The educational policy outcome variables were student retention, graduation rates, college readiness, student assessments, and the annual budget balance. Secondary data were collected from the Michigan School Data website. Data included the entire school district from the periods of Fiscal Year 2007 through Fiscal Year 2016. Data were analyzed using the non-parametric chi-square test of association. The findings indicated that LFSCA legislation has a statistical association with the graduation rate increasing, student assessment scores decreasing, and college readiness rates decreasing. The effect of the LFSCA legislation was found inconclusive for the student count and the annual budget balance. The implications for positive social change include for legislators to use the findings to create performance outcome measures that provide feedback on public school districts or public institutions.