Date of Conferral







Teresa Lao


In the United States, state educational finance systems are required to ensure that every student obtains an adequate and equitable education. The purpose of this quantitative study was to evaluate the financial management aspect of public funding and the consequences of Georgia's reliance on local property tax revenue for financing its public school districts and attaining student academic achievement outcomes. The research questions examined whether there was a difference in student academic achievement levels of economically disadvantaged (ED) students based on the total 8th grade student population, annual property valuations, and median home sale prices during the 2006â??2014 school terms. Systems theory management, resource allocation, and property taxation provided the theoretical framework for the study. Data were obtained from public, online databases in Georgia. Purposive sampling identified the ED students who took the Grade 8 Writing Assessment (EGWA), the test used to measure the ED students' academic performance levels (n = 27,136). Results from Pearson correlation analyses indicated an inverse relationship between the number of ED students who passed the EGWA and the median sale prices of homes, and school districts with high property tax revenue were more likely to have higher test scores than school districts located in areas with low property tax revenue. Multiple regression analyses showed that the academic performance of 8th grade ED students who passed the EGWA was predicted by the total number of 8th grade students who passed the test. The implication for positive social change is that it is not the amount of public funding that affects student academic achievement, but how the funds are spent that can change academic achievement.