Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Hare, Dwight

Committee Member

Blendinger, Jack G.

Committee Member

Xu, JIanzhong

Committee Member

Watson, Joshua

Committee Member

Boggan, Matthew

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Leadership and Foundations

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Leadership and Foundations


The need for expert financial knowledge to lead school districts is paramount in education. The leader of a school district should possess knowledge and aptitude to generate funds to properly finance a school district. The management of school trust lands, also known as 16th section lands, provide a way for a school district with those lands to generate funds to supplement federal, state, and local funds. School trust lands were derived from the Northwest Ordinance of 1785 in which school districts were granted the 16th section in every township in new states in order to support public schools. The only research on the management of 16th section lands and the expenditure of revenue generated from 16th section lands has been conducted by foresters and economists. There is no research from an educator’s perspective on this subject. This research fills this gap in the research on school trust lands. The multiple case study method was used in this research. Four districts in Mississippi were selected based upon each district’s major resource of revenue. The superintendent, board president, and school financial officer were interviewed along with the personnel from the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office. Results from this study suggest that aggressive management is the key to the successful management of 16th section lands. Using the revenue generated from 16th section lands to create a fund balance (savings) and to supplement the overall general budget were general expenditures. Generally, 16th section lands should be managed aggressively to maximize revenue. The capital market theory should be applied to management of 16th section lands to assess risk, returns, and correlations on investments. For expenditure of revenue generated from 16th section lands, the revenue should be used as part of a long-range plan of financing schools in the districts. Revenue generated from 16th section lands have great potential to assist in the educational offerings of a district. Further research is needed in the area of municipal separate districts. Also, further research is needed in the area of increased revenue generated from 16th section lands as a possible correlation of decreased millage in districts.



16th section lands