Community Advocate


Half of U.S. Students Eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch

More students in the U.S. are eligible for free and reduced-price lunches than at any time in history, but some miss the point in quibbles over definitions.


U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights Releases Guidance to Ensure that All Students have Equal Access to Educational Resources

On October 2, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights released guidance in the form of a Dear Colleague Letter to ensure that all students have equal access to educational resources. The guidance provides detailed and concrete information to educators on the standards established by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Agricultural Scientist Fellowships: Applications due February 11, 2015

On December 22, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the availability of more than $15 million for fellowships to train and develop the next generation of scientists who will lead agriculture into the future by solving current and future challenges facing society.


To Travel: 2014 Rural Trust Global Fellows Share Their Stories, Part 2

The Rural Trust Global Teacher Fellowship program offers rural teachers the opportunity to choose and design their own international learning experiences. Four Fellows in the class of 2014 talk about what the opportunity has meant to them and their students.


Secure Rural Schools Program Defunded in Federal Spending Package

The federal program that has provided billions to rural timber counties to help support schools and roads received no funding in Congress’s recent funding agreement.


Rural-Urban College Completion Gap Growing

Residents of rural counties are less likely than their urban counterparts to hold a four-year college degree—and the gap is growing.


Students Injured in Shooting Outside School

Shooting injures four students outside a Portland, Oregon school.


Charter Schools Facing Legal Challenges

A recent court ruling in Arizona found that the state’s charter schools are not entitled to the same level of funding as regular schools, and a complaint has been filed in with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights claiming that most of Delaware’s charters are racially identifiable and that common enrollment practices violate several provisions of federal law.


School Finance Overview: Arizona and California

Attorneys for the state Legislature of Arizona are back in court seeking a stay in a Court ruling requiring increased funding for schools. In California, schools are getting more funding along with greater flexibility and a mandate to work more closely with parents and community organizations. 


Long-Running South Carolina Funding Lawsuit Decided

The South Carolina Supreme Court has ruled the state is failing its constitutional duty to fund “minimally adequate” schools in low-wealth rural school districts.


Rural Districts Key Plaintiffs in Recent School Finance Lawsuits

As states have failed to restore recession-era school funding cuts, citizens and school districts are seeking redress in the courts.


Charters, School Finance Ruling All Mixed Up in Washington State

The relationship between school funding for regular public schools and charters can be complicated. Lawsuits in Washington reveal some of the reasons why.


USDA's Farm to School Grant Program Enables Schools to Bring Healthy, Locally-grown Food to the School Cafeteria

Through the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm to School Grant Program, schools are able to incorporate fresh, local food into their school meals and teach students about healthy eating through hands-on experience in their own school gardens as well as nutrition education in the classroom.


Latest School Tragedy: Many Questions, Few Answers

The latest shooting in an American high school points to common factors and confounding differences in deadly incidents of school violence.


Demographics, Locale Influential in College-Going Rates

Most recent American high school graduates spend some time in college. But students who graduate from high schools with certain characteristics are much less likely to make it to college than their peers.