The influence of representation in school bond elections




Lawing, Thomas D.

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A significant problem in Texas education is that many school districts need adequate educational facilities. The age and condition of the educational facilities affect student achievement. Bond referenda are generally the sole source for facility financing, thus making the passage of school bonds critical. The purpose of this study was to examine community factors associated with the passing or failing of a school district finance bond. This study investigated the influence of representative bureaucracy on voting patterns in school bond elections. Prior research has examined the effect of representative bureaucracy on public policy and administration, but little research has been conducted on its effect on school bond elections. The community factors considered in this research are property wealth, district size, community type, superintendent sex, and racial representation in the administration. This study employed a nonexperimental, retrospective, predictive design to analyze the variables quantitatively. Two binomial logistic regressions were run. The first determined whether the Texas Education Agency–reported demographic factors influenced bond election outcomes. The second was conducted to gauge the influence of representation on bond election outcomes. Although research supported the inclusion of each selected variable, the models proved insignificant. The study’s findings support the idea that bond passage rates cannot be attributable simply to community-specific characteristics. Instead, they emphasize the subtle and multifaceted nature of the bond election process, underlining that a complex interaction of components beyond the immediate demographics and dynamics of the community determines success or failure. The study’s findings demonstrate that successful school bond projects necessitate a more complete and strategic approach that goes beyond only community factors.


A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership.


Texas, education



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