Date of Award

Spring 1996

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Todd DeMitchell


The purpose of this research was to determine if there was a relationship between the level of funds available and the pattern of expenditure in New Hampshire high schools. For example, was there a relationship between the percentage of its budget a high school spends on regular education programs and its overall per pupil cost? The hypothesis was that there would be less than a moderate correlation between each of eight variables and per pupil expenditure. A Pearson r value of 0.30 or greater was defined as indicating a moderate correlation.

The study also examined each high school's spending pattern over time to determine if there was a change in the pattern of expenditure. The hypothesis was that there would be only small changes in expenditure patterns. Finally, the study examined the expenditure pattern of the 38 high schools taken as a group to determine if the pattern of spending across the state was the same. This was examined for each year and for the total time period examined. The hypothesis was that there would only be small differences in expenditure patterns across the 38 schools and only small changes over the nine year period. A coefficient of variation of 0.10 or less was used to define a small change.

The research examined four different expenditure areas: (a) regular education, (b) guidance services, (c) educational media and (d) school administration. The amount of money expended in each area was broken down into personnel costs and the cost of supplies and materials.

The data supported the following conclusions: (1) There was a negative correlation between regular education expenditures and per pupil cost, in some cases this correlation reached the moderate level. (2) There was a positive correlation between guidance personnel spending and per pupil cost. (3) While there was a consistent pattern of expenditure within individual schools there was not a consistent pattern across schools. (4) The 38 schools, taken as a group, had a consistent expenditure pattern during the period covered by the study.