School Bureaucracy

  • Nevbahar ErtasEmail author
Living reference work entry


Refers to the administrative systems governing the public school systems.



Bureaucracy is the dominant administrative system governing large institutions, including schools in the United States’ (US) education system. Public education is the largest category of state and local spending in the United States and consequently the nation’s largest bureaucracy. In fact, Meier et al. (1999) noted that “the model bureaucrat is more likely to grade papers in Des Moines than shuffle them in Washington” (p. 1027), referring to school systems being the largest public sector employers in the country.

The purpose of this entry is to provide a concise overview of bureaucratic features of schools and education systems, focusing on school bureaucracy in primary or secondary education in the United States. The discussion contains a concise review of public administration scholarship related to...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Science and Public AdministrationUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA