Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Charol Shakeshaft


John Smith is the superintendent of Green Hill Public Schools. This case study follows John through the whole budget process from July 2011 to July 2012. An interpretative perspective was used to tell his story. Ten interviews were given from October 2011 to July 2012. Newspaper articles and the minutes from meetings were analyzed and used as discussion items in the interview questions. This study was an analysis of how he made his budget decisions in a time of fiscal constraint and the role values played in the budget decision making. The budget year started out normal with John doing an analysis of the 2011/2012 budget during the month of July. A hurricane hit in August and it delayed the school year. The Governor’s budget was released in December and it caused the school division to scramble to figure how to cover the VRS and health insurance increase which amounted to $1.8 million. The budget from the General Assembly was delayed until April it confirmed that the VRS increase was to be implemented. The school division looked to the Board of Supervisors to fund $1.8 million. The Board of Supervisors claimed they did not have the money so a tense negotiation occurred. The school division ended up receiving $1.277 million from the Board of Supervisors. This study looked at the decision making process of the superintendent during a time of fiscal constraint. John had a budget team that he worked with that help him with this decision making. John had to display flexibility throughout the budget as unexpected expenses occurred during the process and deadlines were not followed. Values were used by John during his decision making. The first value was his compliance with the rules. He believed that the Standards of Quality dictated his decision making. The second value was keeping the quality of education high. John valued protecting the quality of education for the students. The third value was relationships and trust. This budget process was tense and many relationships were damaged during the process. The final value was transparency. John believed in a budget process that was open so the public could see what was going on.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2012