Leadership Studies Ed.D. Dissertations

Evaluating the effect of ESEA's funds consolidation provision on school-level achievment at Title I elementary schoolwide program buildings

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Patrick Pauken (Advisor)

Second Advisor

Susan Peet (Other)

Third Advisor

Paul Johnson (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Rachel Reinhart (Committee Member)

Fifth Advisor

Eugene Sanders (Committee Member)


In 2008, the Great Recession forced large cuts to state education budgets. Most of the reductions in education spending have not been fully restored (Leachman & Mai, 2014). Presently, the vast majority of Title I schools in Ohio and across the U.S operate as school-wide program (SWP) buildings. The impact of cuts in education funding makes it more difficult for high-poverty, Title I schools to fund supplemental education programs for at-risk students. Yet, despite the fiscal challenges confronting SWP buildings, the available resource allocation option to consolidate Title I and other federal, state, and local to pay for educational programs needed to boost student achievement remains underutilized (Junge & Krvaric, 2013). The purpose of the longitudinal study was to examine the effect of combining Title I, federal, state, and local funds (i.e., funds consolidation) on school-level achievement at SWP elementary schools in the Cincinnati Public School District, over time. It compared two Title I school-wide program (SWP) funding types over a five school-year period (2008-09 to 2012-13). The comparison district was the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. The study’s dependent variable was school-level achievement (as determined by the building’s Ohio performance index score). Data for the study were collected from the Ohio Department of Education’s (ODE) website. Propensity score analysis was applied to match school buildings from both districts.

The study sought to determine which SWP funding type was better at increasing school-level achievement over time. A mixed ANOVA was applied to analyze the dataset with findings of a statistically significant interaction effect. Results showed that elementary SWP program buildings that consolidated funds over a five-year period had significantly higher achievement compared with matched elementary SWP buildings that did not. The effect size for this interaction effect was large. The study’s findings have important implication for policy and practice. Education leaders and policymakers are interested in education reforms that do not require additional resources and have been empirically shown to increase achievement for at-risk students. Overall, the study’s finding link policy, practice, and educational achievement and establishes the foundation for future research.