Recovery districts and weighted student funding:
Owens, Stephen Joseph
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The purpose of this state comparative multi-case study is to explore decision makers’ perceptions of the many elements that led to weighted student funding and state recovery districts arriving on the education policy agendas in Georgia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. Through document review, archival analysis, and interviews with 24 stakeholders close to education policy in the three states, this study traces the evolution of the two policies from relative obscurity to a limited number of policy options to address stated problems. Through a case study methodology, this research resulted in three primary findings. First, the impact of governors in state agenda setting was ubiquitous, powerful, and far-reaching. Second, the Great Recession played a significant role in defining the problems that recovery districts and weighted student funding purported to solve. Finally, nation-wide intermediary organizations exerted political influence primarily through tight policy communities and targeted policy actors with shared political ideology. Implications for further research are also presented.