Date of Award

Spring 5-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Administration


Educational Administration

Major Professor

Dr. Chris Broadhurst

Second Advisor

Dr. Brian Beabout

Third Advisor

Dr. Diana Ward

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Colby Stoever


Current research on school funding has focused primarily on the academic outcomes of non-identified students. However, literature surrounding the impact of school budgets on special education student outcomes was sparse for Louisiana. Recent findings on special education funding stressed the role of funding formulas and their relation to equity. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship of per pupil spending and special education student achievement. Utilizing federal, state, and local financial data, the researcher was able to examine if a relationship existed between per pupil spending and special education student achievement scores on state testing. A secondary analysis examined if higher spending districts outperform lower spending districts for special education student achievement. Third grade students with (dis)abilities scores at basic in English were impacted by the interaction of teacher salaries and per pupil spending. Based on these findings, future school administrators and policymakers can effectively impact student achievement through equitable funding formulas. Implications for future research and practices includes reexamining the current school funding formula structure, disaggregating students with (dis)abilities funding based on IEP classifications, and inclusion of school-level information.


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Available for download on Sunday, May 31, 2026