Date Approved

5-23-2016

Embargo Period

6-1-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. School Psychology

Department

Psychology

College

College of Science & Mathematics

First Advisor

Dihoff, Roberta

Second Advisor

Allen, Terri

Subject(s)

Education--Finance; Students--Economic conditions

Disciplines

Disability and Equity in Education

Abstract

The relationship between socioeconomic status and access to educational resources was examined. According to a national report on school funding, New Jersey rates third in the nation for equality in school funding (Baker, Sciarra and Farrie 2015). Although disparities in school funding are lower than average, students of low socioeconomic status are still at a disadvantage when entering school. The ways in which school districts spend their money was believed to be affected by the socioeconomic status of the students who attend their schools. Literature was reviewed on the ways in which socioeconomic status has been associated with various health and developmental mental issues that can affect a child's success in school, as well as family and parenting factors that can lead to a child's degree of readiness for the demands of school. Aside from health and family influences, differences were also found in what non-academic services were necessary for schools to provide such as meals, which left less funding available for extra-curricular activities found to improve overall academic performance and a student's motivation for staying in school at the high school level. In this current study, budgets of several New Jersey school districts were examined and compared to the New Jersey Department of Education's district factor grouping scores which represent a school district's socioeconomic status. Though a linear relationship was not found, the significance of equal funding, yet unequal life circumstances was discussed.

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