2019 News Stories

Alumna receives Outstanding Dissertation Award from National Education Finance Academy

Pakethia Harris

Pakethia Harris, MAT ‘06 & PhD ‘15

TAMPA, Fla. (April 10, 2019) — College of Education Alumna Pakethia Harris, MAT ‘06 & PhD ‘15, received the 2019 Outstanding Dissertation of the Year award from the National Education Finance Academy (NEFA) for her research in school finance.

Harris’s dissertation, “Money Matters: An Examination of Special Education Characteristics in Efficient and Inefficient Texas School Districts,” focuses primarily on school finance. Particularly, her dissertation focuses on the reciprocal relationship between education policy development and its implementation and the multiple dimensions of education finance and economic praxis. Her research explores levels of economic efficiency generated by K-12 public schools, with high levels of educational outcomes for historically marginalized student populations. Harris’s research also has a particular interest paid to students with disabilities.

Harris is a graduate of the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program in the Department of Leadership, Counseling, Adult, Career and Higher Education. Since graduating from USF, Harris contributes to the American Institutes for Research as a Technical Assistance Consultant. She works as a liaison to provide national, state and district policy groups and task forces with research-based resources to help improve support in education.

Harris will present her research at the National Education Finance Academy's 2019 Annual Conference in Renton, Washington in April.