The state of Arizona first attempted publicly funded distance education in the Fall of 1998. Initiated by Senate Bill 1400, the Technology Assisted Project-Based Instruction (TAPBI) Program's purpose was to meet the needs of public education students at a time of emerging technology in the classroom and at home. For ten years, the TAPBI program realized extensive growth in enrollment and funding support.
Although the benefactor of extensive enrollment growth, the number of public school programs participating, four in 1998 and currently fourteen, has not increased since 2003. The purpose of this study was to seek out and identify legislative processes that may have contributed to increased enrollment and funding, but constricted program expansion to other districts.
This study utilized a program effects case study method as described by Lynn Davey in her article, The Application of Case Study Evaluations . Data collection for the TAPBI case was guided by a legislative history research framework proposed by Robert M. Ey. Using Ey's data collection guidelines, substantial data collected documented reviews and extensive personal interaction with participants and stakeholders. After a thorough analysis of TAPBI legislative intentions, actions and results, the research uncovered an emerging theme related to successful and unsuccessful statute actions throughout TAPBI history.
Analysis of collected data determined that three major legislative actions had been initiated for TAPBI. These actions were initiated in 1998, SB 1400; 2003, House Bill 2093; and 2005, SB 1422. The period subsequent to each legislative action was considered a policy cycle. As the data was collected it was formulated into three timeframes based on the start of a new TAPBI policy cycle. The results of the data were then formulated within each policy cycle.
Culmination of each TAPBI policy cycle was expected to result in success, failure, or maintenance of the program's proposed intent. Data analysis for this case concluded that each policy cycle has resulted in continued maintenance of TAPBI, causing the current policy cycle to perpetuate on.
An Arizona Auditor General Report released in October 2007 formally brought to light the conclusions realized by this analysis of TAPBI legislation.