Politics or Professionalism? Budgeting for Bilingual Education

Carla M. Flink, Angel Molina

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Scopus citations


    What drives budgetary support for minority-targeted policies? This question is increasingly salient because the public sector serves numerous minority clientele. One perspective suggests that budgetary decisions are grounded in need or demand, while another contends that political pressures will result in the allocation of resources to those with political power. This article presents a theory of budgetary allocation based on the interaction between politics and professionalism, two seemingly disparate perspectives. Furthermore, we separate professionalism into two dimensions—demand and need. Through an analysis of budgeting decisions for bilingual education, we find that political representation leads to more positive budgetary changes for low-demand and, conversely, high-need environments. These findings support not only the interaction between politics and professionalism as a driver of budgetary outcomes but also the theory of two dimensions of professionalism.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1064-1087
    Number of pages24
    JournalUrban Affairs Review
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


    • minority administrators
    • minority politics
    • public budgeting
    • representation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Urban Studies


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