Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Marie Cianca

Second Supervisor

Joellen Maples


Existing research indicates that improved student achievement in urban schools may be impacted by the strategic identification of school finances. Thus, the allocation of discretionary funds and the effectiveness of their use remains a critical element in school finance. This quantitative study examined practices that exist in the allocation of discretionary funds made by urban elementary principals. The study used a matched sampling methodology to provide an analysis of resource allocation in four schools in Good Standing and four schools not in Good Standing. The study found that principals in Good Standing primarily use their discretionary spending in the strategy Create Individual Attention as the primary means to create a high performing school. Further findings suggest that in order to create a highly individualized school environment, flexibility in spending provides principals with an opportunity to tailor the needs of their school more strategically. The findings offer principals, district administrators, and institutions of higher learning insights into the resource allocation practices of discretionary funds to create an individualized learning environment to improve student achievement particularly when enhanced by braiding school finance theories and practices.

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