Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Peter J. Smith

Second Advisor

Dr. Jeanne L. Surface

Third Advisor

Dr. Neal F. Grandgenett


The purpose of this study was to discover if differences existed in the early literacy skills of non-resident kindergarten students participating in the learning community open enrollment program and resident kindergarten students that do and do not qualify for the free or reduced lunch program at the beginning and end of their kindergarten year. As educational inequalities between disadvantaged students and their middle to upper class peers become more pronounced across the nation, federal, state, and local school governments continue to search for solutions. Many are hoping school choice programs are a plausible solution.


A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate College of the University of Nebraska in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements of the Degree of Doctor of Education. Copyright 2012 Lydia L. Gabriel.

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