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The Role Of Directors Of State And Federal Categorical Programs In California School Districts

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Purpose. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between the actual and ideal role of directors of state and federal categorical programs as perceived by those directors in California school districts. Procedure. One hundred fifteen elementary districts, 28 high school districts, and 91 unified school districts comprised the 234 districts in the sample. A stratified random sample of directors in these districts was surveyed by mail to determine the actual and ideal relationships by item and subscale. Subscale areas were: Program Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation, Budgeting/Financial Management, Program Reporting/Supervision, Personnel Management, and Public Relations. Independent variables were district type, average daily attendance (ADA), and entitlement, and the dependent variable was degree of responsibility. Respondents were asked to indicate degree of responsibility on one of five responsibility classifications: none, little, shared, major, or full to each of 50 survey items. (Descriptive information and differences between the actual and ideal role were determined using frequency distributions, one-way analyses of variance, and nondirectional t-tests.) Findings and Conclusions. For both the actual and ideal role, directors perceived a majority of identified tasks and subscales are a shared or major responsibility. Directors perceived 3 tasks actually require full responsibility while one ideally should be a full responsibility. Significant differences in the perceptions of directors were found between district type, ADA, entitlement, and subscale areas. There were significant differences between the actual and ideal role on 30 of the 50 survey items. Twenty-eight of the 30 significant differences indicated higher mean scores on the actual role suggesting that directors perceived they should assume less responsibility in those areas. Recommendations. (1) Replicate the study using different criteria for small, medium, and large districts by ADA and entitlement. (2) Conduct follow-up studies to determine role changes in view of potential state legislative amendments in categorical programs, to determine who shares directors' responsibilities. (3) Apply statistical procedures to results of this study between demographic factors for the actual and ideal role.

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