The implications and potentials of program budgeting for public schools
The major purpose of this study was to examine the implications and potentials of program budgeting for public schools. Several goals and objectives pursuant to the major purpose of the study were developed. They were: (1) to further the usage of program-budgeting concepts and terms as described and defined by Harry J. Hartley, author of Educational Planning-Programming-Budgeting: A Systems Approach; (2) to identify budgeting practices common to both conventional and program-budgeting concepts of public school budgeting; and (3) to determine whether or not selected public school superintendents used specific program budgeting practices and to determine the soundness of the specific program-budgeting practices as judged by the public school superintendents. The procedures used in the study included the following: (1) the selection of the population, (2) the development of the data-gathering instrument, (3) the collection of the data, and (4) the presentation of the data.The population of this study was comprised of seventy selected Indiana public school superintendents who administered school corporations which were of various sizes and which were located in various geographic areas in Indiana. Two criteria were used to select the superintendents: (1) that their school corporation be one of the ten school corporations having the largest average daily attendance as reported by the Indiana State Department of Instruction; or (2) that their school corporation be a member of one of the five public school study councils with headquarters at Ball State University.Data for the study were obtained from the responses to a questionnaire which included a list of statements pertaining to program-budgeting practices. The sixty statements were derived from thirty theses postulated by Hartley as a concise description of program budgeting as it should operate at the public-school level. Definitions from the glossary of Hartley's book were used to clarify the statements.The superintendents were asked to react to the statements by checking a multi-column scale, indicating whether or not they used the budgeting practice in their school' corporation and then judging the soundness of the practice whether or not they used the practice.The data were treated in two major categories. Each statement was treated separately, and the sixty statements were treated as a whole. In both categories the data were presented in raw numbers and percentages to show responses as well as similarities and differences of responses, and narration was used to report general relationships and inferences as perceived by the writer. The findings indicated the following major general conclusions to be appropriate: 1. The majority of the superintendents participating in the study indicated they used many of the program-budgeting practices described and defined in the inquiry instrument. 2. Most of the superintendents participating in this study considered most of the program-budgeting practices described and defined in the inquiry instrument to be sound budgeting practices. 3. Many of the superintendents participating in the study judged specific program-budgeting practices to be sound even though they did not utilize those practices in the operations of their schools. 4. Program-budgeting practices more directly associated with systems-analysis procedures, such as utilizing management-information systems, developing simulation techniques, programming by systematic task-sequence network diagrams and constructing behavioral-theoretical models, were not often used by the school corporations participating in this study. 5. Many budgetary methods, policies, and procedures identified as being characteristic of program budgeting were being practiced in the public schools. There is considerable overlapping of conventional and program-budgeting practices.