Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Policy & Administration

First Advisor

William Bosher


ABSTRACT SCHOOL BOARD TAXING AUTHORITY IN VIRGINIA By Leon T. Johnson, Ph.D. A Dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy and Administration at Virginia Commonwealth University. Virginia Commonwealth University, 2009 Dr. William C. Bosher, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Education The purpose of this study is to determine to what degree local government officials in Virginia support fiscal autonomy for locally elected School Boards in the state. Currently School Boards in Virginia do not have the ability to raise their own revenues and must depend on the local City Council or Board of Supervisors to appropriate school funding each year. Many more states in the nation allow local School Boards to raise their own revenues than not, and some would argue that Virginia’s system is an inferior form of local government having a negative effect on K-12 education in the state. Others would argue that Virginia’s current system works quite well and to give taxing authority to local School Boards would degrade the quality of K-12 education in the state. To set the national context for this question a comparative survey was done of all fifty state systems in the nation to learn the differences between state systems for funding K-12 education. Second, a survey was conducted of 1,782 Virginia public officials whose professional lives would be affected by a change to allow local School Boards to raise their own revenue. These officials were asked a variety of questions the answers to which tell us whether they view fiscal autonomy for School Boards as progress. Finally, statistical analyses are performed on the responses to the survey using the public officials’ positions and their region of the state as variables. Through this statistical analysis we are able to determine whether position or region of the state have a significant affect on answers to the survey questions.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

April 2009