Rural Policy Matters

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Rural Policy Matters: January 2015

Rural Policy Matters:
January 2015 The January 2015 issue of RPM features an article on a new early literacy program that Rural Trust, the National Council of Teachers of English, and district partners in five states are implementing; research related to preschool access; coverage of increased funding for E-rate; a reflection on student poverty reports; and updates on school finance.
Date: January 28, 2015
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Facts and Figures About Low-Income Preschoolers in the U.S.

Question: What percentage of low-income three and four-year-olds attend preschool in the U.S.?
Date: January 28, 2015
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Increasing Early Literacy in Rural Communities

The Rural Trust is a lead partner in a new grant to demonstrate innovative approaches to strengthening literacy among young rural children.


Early Childhood Education: Few States Measuring Up

Education Week’s 2015 Quality Counts focuses on what states are doing to support learning for very young children.


E-Rate Gets Big Funding Boost, New Rules

In December the FCC gave E-Rate — the federal program that provides funding to schools and libraries for technology and high-speed internet — a funding increase of $1.5 billion.


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.


South Carolina, Kansas Fight School Finance Rulings

State officials in both South Carolina and Kansas are fighting court rulings to bring their finance systems up to constitutional standards.


Rural Policy Matters: December 2014

Rural Policy Matters:
December 2014 The December 2014 issues of RPM features stories of rural teachers who travelled internationally as Rural Trust Global Teacher Fellows; reports on Congressional defunding of the Secure Rural Schools program; examines the rural-urban college completion gap; considers the most recent shooting at a school; reports on legal actions related to school funding and charter schools.
Date: December 17, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication, Unpublished Content


Fact and Figures About States Where More Than One-Third of All Students Are Enrolled in Rural Districts

Question: In which sixteen states are more than one-third of all students enrolled in rural school districts?
Date: December 17, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


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. 


Rural Policy Matters: November 2014

Rural Policy Matters:
November 2014 The November 2014 issue of RPM features stories of rural teachers who travelled internationally as Rural Trust Global Teacher Fellows; reports the recent ruling in favor of high-poverty rural districts in South Carolina; examines rural issues in a crop of school finance lawsuits; and considers the implications of charter arguments in Washington State.
Date: November 24, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Facts and Figures About States Where at Least Half of the Rural Districts Are Smaller Than the National Rural Median

Question: In which states are at least half of all rural districts smaller than the national rural median (553 students)?
Date: November 24, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


To Travel: 2014 Rural Trust Global Fellows Share Their Stories, Part 1

Rural teachers share their experiences as Rural Trust Global Teacher Fellows. The program offers rural teachers the opportunity to choose and design their own international learning experiences.


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.


Rural Policy Matters: October 2014

Rural Policy Matters:
October 2014 The October 2014 issue of RPM examines the Seattle-area school shooting in light of other information on school violence; delves into a raft of research on college-going rates; considers new information on student well-being in the U.S.; examines education issues in next month’s elections; and shares information about initiatives in which the Rural Trust is involved.
Date: October 29, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Facts and Figures About College Enrollment for Rural vs. Urban Students

Question: Are rural students more or less likely than their urban peers to attend college?
Date: October 29, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: College/University, Facts and Figures


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.


FBI Study of "Active Shooter" Incidents

An FBI report sheds light on more than a decade of mass shooting incidents.


School Safety: Issues and Complications in Recent Headlines

States and districts have employed a variety of strategies to address school safety concerns in recent years. But events in several states have pointed to complications in outcomes.


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.


Education a Key Issue in Some State Elections

Education may play a surprisingly large role in several state elections next month and somel issues are challenging partisan divisions.
Date: October 29, 2014
Related Categories: Administrator, Parent, Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: School Finance/Funding, Teacher Issues, testing


More Indicators American Child Well-Being is Declining

More American children and youth are homeless than ever before; cuts to recess and P.E. in school may be damaging more than students’ physical health.


Made in Rural America: USDA Report

A recent report provides information on state-level USDA investments in rural economic development.


Coalition for Teaching Quality Policy Recommendations

Report outlines steps for ensuring high quality teachers for all students.


Applications for 2015 Global Teacher Fellowship Program Due January 30, 2015

Teachers and other academic personnel working in a rural or small town school may apply for fellowships for self-designed summer learning experiences based in international travel.


Rural Policy Matters: September 2014

Rural Policy Matters:
September 2014 The September issue of RPM explores new child poverty data; describes recent Rural Trust activities related to place-based learning; examines three current school finance lawsuits; considers recent developments in state and federal initiatives related to teachers; and reports on Missouri’s new law expanding the ability of employees to bring guns to school.
Date: September 24, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Facts and Figures About Poverty and Rural Children

Question: What percentage of rural American children live in poverty?
Date: September 24, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Poverty Rates Unchanged for Rural Children

Newly released census data find that overall rates of poverty in the U.S. declined very slightly in 2013. Child poverty rates also fell slightly. Yet nearly one in four American children live in poverty and rates vary widely among states, across racial/ethnic groups, and between place types.


Place-Based Learning Offers Variety of Resources

Rural schools and communities use the resources of place to enhance academics and community life.


Action on School Finance Lawsuits Heats Up

Courts in Washington and Texas have issued rulings favoring school districts, and a new school finance lawsuit is filed in Mississippi.


Battles Continue Over Teacher Employment Issues

Politically charged fights over teacher tenure, contract negotiations, and testing rage on in states and at the federal level.


Missouri Expands Concealed Carry in Schools

Missouri joins other states that allow guns in schools.


Rural Policy Matters: August 2014

Rural Policy Matters:
August 2014 The August issue of RPM considers the importance of Vermont’s stance on declaring its schools “low performing,” examines a recent set of papers related to school finance, reports on a North Carolina court decision declaring the state’s voucher program unconstitutional, and comments on the accountability and teacher quality provisions that NCLB was to require this school year.
Date: August 26, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Facts and Figures About Percentage of Minority Students in Rural Schools

Question: Minority students make up what percentage of rural students nationwide?
Date: August 26, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, Minority Students


Vermont Stands Up, Respects Parents and Teachers

A high-achieving state stands up to the federal law that deems its schools “low performing.”


Summer Crop of Finance Studies

Back to school season sees a fresh set of studies on the effects of school finance systems.


North Carolina Vouchers: Unconstitutional

The Tarheel State’s controversial voucher program is an unconstitutional use of taxpayer dollars and fails other important aspects of education law, according to an August court ruling.


NCLB Requirements Come Due

RPM Editorial: The nation’s schools are supposed to be meeting all provisions of the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act at the start of this school year. But statistical impossibility, inconsistent enforcement, and state waivers leave the law’s provisions in limbo.


Rural Policy Matters: July 2014

Rural Policy Matters:
July 2014 The July issue of RPM covers the deadline extension for School-wide free lunches for eligible schools; examines how Washington State is dealing with a school finance court order; explores Georgia’s new gun laws and how schools are responding; and reports on the Capitol Hill briefing of Why Rural Matters 2013–14.
Date: July 28, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Fact and Figures About Rural Students and Subsidized School Meals

Question: What is the percentage of rural students who are eligible for subsidized school meals?
Date: July 28, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Schools May Still Apply to Offer Free Lunches to All Students

School districts still have time to apply to a federal program that allows high-poverty schools to offer free meals to all students.
Date: July 28, 2014
Related Categories: Administrator, Community Advocate, Parent, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Programs, Income Related Issues


Washington Court and Legislature Nearing Showdown Over School Funding

Washington’s state legislature is unlikely to meet a Supreme Court deadline related to the state’s school finance lawsuit and it’s not clear what the Court will do about it.


Georgia Gun Law: So Far No School Takers

Schools in Georgia are not opting into provisions in a new law that makes it possible to arm teachers and other staff members.


WRM Briefing Prompts Floor Speech on Title I Equity

The Capitol Hill briefing of Why Rural Matters prompts Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson to call for reforms to Title I funding formulas.


Rural Policy Matters: June 2014

Rural Policy Matters:
June 2014 The June issue of RPM offers a rural take on the recent court decision in California addressing teacher tenure and looks at how the North Carolina legislature is using the state budget to affect a range of education policies.
Date: June 27, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index


Fact and Figures About the Percentage of Rural Districts in the U.S.

Question: Rural school districts make up what percentage of all U.S. school districts? 
Date: June 27, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, School Location


California Tenure Ruling: Big Splash, Unclear Consequences

A California ruling on teacher tenure changes little in the short run, but frames a big political debate on the future of teaching and public sector job rights.


North Carolina Teacher Policy Debates Move to Budget Process

North Carolina teachers won back some of their tenure protections, but that fight has moved to the state budget process, where several education policies are under debate.


Rural Policy Matters: May 2014

Rural Policy Matters:
May 2014The May issue of RPM presents information from Why Rural Matters 2013–14; reports on some of the complex issues that teachers face; and reviews a new report on the importance of supports for young children and their families and what states are doing about it.
Date: May 27, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Facts and Figures About Rural School District Sizes

Question: What is the median size (the size at which half are larger and half are smaller) of a rural school district in the U.S.?
Date: May 27, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Why Rural Matters 2013-14 Released

The Rural Trust releases Why Rural Matters 2013–14.


A Rural Teacher Makes a Tough Decision

It wasn’t discipline in the usual sense, nor the demands of a small school, but lack of support and policies that seem bent on student failure that prompted one accomplished rural teacher to make a heart-breaking decision.
Date: May 27, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: School Location, Teacher Issues


Early Childhood Supports Key

A new guide makes a compelling case that states can improve educational and economic outcomes with policies and programs that support young children and their families. The guide also includes links to efforts that some states are already implementing successfully.
Date: May 27, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, Pre-K and Kindergarden, School Location


Rural Policy Matters: April 2014

Rural Policy Matters:
March 2014 The April issue of RPM announces the rural Leonore Annenberg School Fund grantees; profiles student-led efforts to reduce poverty in a rural Louisiana community; explores a report on school-community collaborations; profiles the 2014 national Forum of the Coalition for Community Schools; introduces the 2014 class of Rural Trust Global Teacher Fellows; and includes information from a recent survey of American teachers and students.
Date: April 27, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Facts and Figures About Children and Poverty

Question: Is a child more likely to live in poverty in a rural or urban area?


Rural Trust Announces the 2014 Rural Leonore Annenberg School Fund Grantees

The Rural Trust announces that two rural elementary schools will receive grants from the Leonore Annenberg School Fund.


Students Lead Poverty Reduction

In rural St. Gabriel, Louisiana, students are continuing their work to reduce poverty in the local community.


Community-School Collaborations Improve Outcomes

A newly released guide, co-sponsored by the Rural Trust, urges school districts to expand partnerships with their communities to improve student outcomes.


"Community Schools" Concept Gaining Ground

The idea that schools must be the centers of communities where educators, families, and community partners work together is gaining momentum as seen at the 2014 National Forum of the Coalition for Community Schools.


Thirty-one Rural Teachers Awarded Travel Fellowships

The 2014 class of Rural Trust Global Fellows will travel in six continents. 


Teachers Feel More Stressed and Disregarded Than Other Workers

Teachers feel more stressed and less likely to think their opinions matter than other workers, but policies and administrative practices make a big difference.


Rural Policy Matters: March 2014

Rural Policy Matters:
March 2014The March issue of RPM profiles North Mitchell Elementary where an emphasis on health is connecting students to their own communities, explores data released in a new federal report on equity in schools, reports on the most recent developments in the Kansas school finance case, and examines issues of school funding fairness in a recent report from the Education Law Center.
Date: March 24, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Fact and Figures About Where U.S. Poverty Rates Are Highest

Question: Are poverty rates higher in metro or nonmetro counties in the U.S.?
Date: March 24, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Focusing on Wellness Connects Students to Their Communities

A south Georgia elementary school commits to helping kids get and stay fit and healthy—and connected to each other and their diverse community.


Rural Policy Matters: February 2014

Rural Policy Matters: February 2014The February issue of RPM profiles Cara Cookson whose strong education in a small rural school has motivated her to work on behalf of rural communities and their schools; covers recent developments in education policy in North Carolina; and presents “Valuable, Flexible, and Cost Effective,” Part 3 in the series, “Rural Matters: Implications of Rural Characteristics for Public Policy.”
Date: February 26, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Cara Cookson: Rural American Committed to a Rural Future

Cara Cookson has always been proud of her rural background and her rural education. Now she’s working to see rural communities survive and thrive.


Resistance Mounting to North Carolina's Education "Reforms"

Resistance is growing to recent changes to education policy in North Carolina, including lawsuits against the elimination of tenure protections and state support for private school vouchers.


Valuable, Flexible, and Cost-Effective: Making the Most of Small Scale

The RPM series “Rural Matters: The Implications of Rural Characteristics for Public Policy,” explores attributes that make a place rural and, therefore, different from urban and suburban places. In this installment we look at the characteristic of low population — and its corresponding attribute smallness — and consider ways in which this rural characteristic should inform public policy, especially education policy.


Facts and Figures About "Small" Rural Public School Districts

Question: What percentage of rural public school districts in the U.S. is considered “small?”
Date: February 26, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, School/District Size


Office of Civil Rights Guidance for Schools

Guidance issued earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights addresses what states and districts should do to ensure equal access to educational resources and opportunities.


Rural Policy Matters: January 2014

Rural Policy Matters: December 2013The January issue of RPM profiles Ernest Brooks, former Rural Trust Board Chair, whose rural experiences have shaped his adult contributions; presents "Going Two Ways at Once," Part 2 in the series, “Why What’s Rural Matters;” compares urban and rural school closures; reports on plans of rural Promise Zones; and considers all-too-familiar patterns in recent school shootings.
Date: January 27, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Ernest Brooks: Rural American Making a Difference

As a young student, Ernest Brooks got involved in community and rural advocacy. He’s been at it ever since.


Going Two Ways at Once: Distance as a Defining Rural Characteristic

The RPM series “What Makes Rural Rural?" examines characteristics of rural places and implications for policymakers, philanthropists, and others interested in making the most of resources and opportunity. In this second installment we look at the effects of distance on rural residents, schools, and communities.


Urban School Closures Similar to Rural Closures

The National Opportunity to Learn Campaign addresses school closures in urban areas.


Promise Zones Include Two Rural Areas

Earlier this month President Obama named the first five Promise Zones, including two multi-county rural regions.


Recent School Shootings Follow Familiar Patterns

Three recent school shootings are tragically familiar.
Date: January 27, 2014
Related Categories: Administrator, Community Advocate, Elected Official/Staff, Media, Parent, Rural Policy Matters, Student, Teacher
Related Tags: Violence, Youth


Facts and Figures About School Expenditures: Instruction Compared to Transportation

Question: Which state spends least on instruction compared to its expenditures for transportation?
Date: January 26, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Applications for 2014 Global Teacher Fellowship Program due January 30, 2014

Teachers and other academic personnel working in a rural or small town school may apply for fellowships for self-designed summer learning experiences based in international travel.


Rural Policy Matters: December 2013

Rural Policy Matters: December 2013The December issue of RPM focuses on poverty, and specifically on Promise Neighborhood initiatives to bring cradle-to-career supports to all children and youth in three distressed rural communities. The issue includes a reflection on poverty; a profile of the Berea Promise Neighborhood initiative in Kentucky; an exploration of family engagement efforts in Berea initiatives; news and insight from all three Promise Neighborhood initiatives; information about the Rural Education Summit at Berea College; and an announcement of the 2014 Global Teacher Fellowship application process.
Date: December 17, 2013
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Facts and Figures: How Many Children Attend America's Poorest 10% of Rural Schools?

Question: How many children attend America’s poorest 10% of rural schools?


There's Poverty...

Thoughts on what it means to talk about poverty and to address it in very distressed communities.


All Children Everywhere

The nation’s first rural Promise Neighborhood is entering its third year. In this issue of RPM we talk with some of its staff and hear about approaches, emerging successes, and opportunities.


Family Engagement: Lasting Positive Impact

Family engagement is the one of the pillars of the work Partners for Education is building in the Promise Neighborhood. We explore some of the ways the Berea initiative builds relationships across schools and communities.


Promise Neighborhoods: Promising, Challenging, Exhilarating

Three rural Promise Neighborhood grant recipients offer perspective on the work.


Rural Education Summit at Berea College

A national Rural Education Summit spotlights the need for investment in rural communities and schools and some of the rewards those investments bring.


Rural Policy Matters: November 2013

Rural Policy Matters: November 2013The November issue of RPM profiles a youth-led entrepreneurial effort in North Carolina; kicks off a new series, “Why What’s Rural Matters;” covers a recent tour of full-service community schools in California; reports on the education tax referendum in Colorado; and includes announcements of the 2014 Global Teacher Fellowship application process and a rural education AmeriCorps program in northern New England.
Date: November 21, 2013
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Hope to See You in the Future

A collaborative community effort to engage and support young people leads to a new business in a small North Carolina community.


It's Complicated... Why What's Rural Matters

America’s relationship with its rural areas is complicated. But taking rural characteristics into account can make schools and communities better, not just for rural students and residents but for everyone. In this first installment in the RPM series “Rural Matters: The Implications of Rural Characteristics for Public Policy,” we explore meaning in the many definitions of rural.


Colorado School Funding Defeat

Voters delivered a blow to education interests seeking support to address long-standing school finance issues and recent budget cuts.


Info Session for Rural AmeriCorps: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont

Information for rural schools in Maine, New Hampshire, and northern Vermont interested in applying for AmeriCorps volunteers.
Date: November 20, 2013
Related Categories: In Local News, Networks/Groups, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Announcements


Facts and Figures About Rural Households With Internet Service

Question: What percentage of rural households has an Internet subscription?
Date: November 19, 2013
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, Rural School Innovation Network (RSIN)


California State Senator Liu Hosts Community Schools Bus Tour

A tour of California schools using the community-schools model to support children and families garners significant attention.


Rural Policy Matters: October 2013

Rural Policy Matters: October 2013The October issue of RPM announces the opening of the 2014 Global Teacher Fellowship application process; presents experiences and photos of 2013 Global Fellows; considers tragedies in Nevada and Massachusetts in the context of other incidents of school violence in the U.S.; examines the issue of school discipline through the lenses of safety, teacher retention, and school pushout; and introduces readers to don’t-miss reports on rural dropout issues and full-service community schools.
Date: October 29, 2013
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


2013 Global Teacher Fellows Share Experiences

Thirty-two rural teachers traveled the globe in the summer of 2013. Read their stories and see photos.


Tragedies Reflect Patterns in School Violence

Deadly violence in U.S. schools tends to occur in mass shootings or in events that target a specific individual. Both types of violence claimed the lives of beloved teachers this month.


Effective Discipline Key to Reducing Student and Teacher Dropout Rates

A report issued this month explores the relationship between ineffective and exclusionary school discipline practices and high rates of student and teacher dropout rates and negative student contact with the criminal justice system.


New Reports Address Important Issues for Student and Community Well-Being

Recent reports highlight key issues for improving outcomes for students, especially those in economically challenged communities.


Applications for 2014 Global Teacher Fellowship Program Now Open

Teachers and other academic personnel working in a rural or small town school may apply for fellowships for self-designed summer learning experiences based in international travel.


Applications for 2014 Global Teacher Fellowship Program Now Open

Teachers and other academic personnel working in a rural or small town school may apply for fellowships for self-designed summer learning experiences based in international travel.


Facts and Figures About Advanced Education Degrees Among Adults

Question: A higher percentage of adults in metro counties hold college or professional degrees than do adults in nonmetro counties. Has that gap been closing or growing wider in recent years?
Date: October 28, 2013
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Rural Policy Matters: September 2013

Rural Policy Matters: September 2013The September 2013 issue of Rural Policy Matters welcomes readers back to the 2013–14 school year; features an article on the work of the Rural Trust; explores dramatic policy developments in North Carolina; and covers a report on the effects of the recession on state education spending.


Facts and Figures About High School Graduation Rates Between Metro and Nonmetro Counties

Question: True or False: In recent years the gap in high school graduation rates between metro and nonmetro counties has been growing.


Welcome Back to the 2013-14 School Year

After a brief summer hiatus, RPM is happy to welcome our readers back.
Date: September 30, 2013
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: State Policy


Rural Trust: Who We Are and What We Do

We at the Rural Trust recognize that it is important from time to time to take stock and communicate to our many constituents what we see as important about the work to which we are committed. We are taking the opportunity in this issue of RPM to do just that.


North Carolina Launches Dramatic Changes in Education

North Carolina’s legislature has instituted dramatic changes in policies affecting school funding, teachers, and privatization.


Education Spending Below Pre-Recession Levels in Most States

A report issued this month finds that most states are spending less per pupil than they did before the recession and that these cuts have negative short- and long-term economic and educational consequences.


Rural Policy Matters: June 2013

Rural Policy Matters: May 2013The June 2013 issue of Rural Policy Matters focuses on rural schools that are doing great things. “Everyone a Stakeholder” features D. P. Cooper Elementary in South Carolina and the ways it has leveraged rural resources to give students a broad experience and to drive high achievement. Two stories describe the implementation of the Schools to Watch process in two struggling small town middle schools. “Schools Prove They Can Make Dramatic Improvements With Their Own Teachers: No Sanctions Necessary” provides an overview of the Schools to Watch process and its implementation, with support from an i3 grant, in two rural middle schools. “Building a Great School: No Punitive Sanctions Allowed” takes an in-depth look at the process in those two middle schools — with lots of insight from the principals at the two schools — and lots of photos.


Everyone a Stakeholder: D. P. Cooper Elementary Leverages Rural Assets for Students and Community

D. P. Cooper Elementary has marshaled non-traditional resources, including many of the best things about being rural, to benefit both students and community.


Schools Prove They Can Make Dramatic Improvements With Their Own Teachers: No Sanctions Necessary

The Schools to Watch: School Transformation Network is proving that formerly low-performing middle schools can turn themselves around by focusing on high quality relationships and positive culture and climate.


Building a Great School: No Punitive Sanctions Allowed

Two principals share how a process to build trust and collaboration and empower teachers has led to happy productive schools and soaring student achievement.


Facts and Figures About Median Household Income in the U.S.

Question: What was the median household income in non-metro counties in the U.S. in 2009?


Rural Policy Matters: May 2013

Rural Policy Matters: May 2013The May 2013 issue of Rural Policy Matters includes the release of “Violence in U.S. K–12 Schools,” a Rural Trust special report; Why Policy Matters: Legal Interventions, the fourth in our series on the importance of policy advocacy; a story on the 2013 rural winner of a Leonore Annenberg College Scholarship and a story announcing the elementary school recipients of awards from the Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children. Rural School Funding News covers a variety of important developments in school privatization efforts as well as finance lawsuits and state budget fights. There’s also important School Discipline News and a graph.
Date: May 30, 2013
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Facts and Figures About Salaries in Rural and Metropolitan Areas

Question: What is the average pay of a  job in a rural area compared to a job in a metropolitan area?
Date: May 30, 2013
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, Income Related Issues


Violence in U.S. Schools, 1975-2013: A Rural Trust Special Report

The March RPM special edition on school violence has been released as a downloadable Rural Trust special report and includes updated text and additional graphics. The report found surprising patterns in incidents of school violence, including important information for violence prevention. The report emphasizes rural perspectives throughout.


The Rules We Play By, Part 4: Legal Interventions

Legal interventions, specifically lawsuits, play an important role in shaping public policy and can have a range of surprising effects among the groups who bring them.


Leonore Annenberg Scholarship, Fellowship, and School Funds Benefit Rural High School Student and Two Rural Elementary Schools

A high school junior from rural Vermont and two rural elementary schools, one in Georgia and one in South Carolina, have received generous support from the Leonore Annenberg Scholarship, Fellowship, and School Funds.


Aeronautics in the Future for 2013 Rural Leonore Annenberg Scholarship Winner

A high school junior interested in rocketry and engineering has been selected for a significant national scholarship.


2013 Rural Recipients of Grants from the Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children

Two rural elementary schools have been awarded funds from the Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children.


Federal Involvement in School Discipline Reform Yields Results

Federal officials have forced significant reforms to school disciplinary practices to reduce disparate treatment and keep students in school and out of prison.


Colorado Youth Win Agreement to Stem the School to Prison Pipeline

A youth-led coalition has won another victory in the process of improving policies in order to keep students out of the criminal justice system.


North Carolina State Board Takes Stand Against Corporal Punishment

As its use dies out, the state board officially discourages the use of corporal punishment.


Texas Districts Prevail in Ruling; Appeal Will Follow

The school funding trial in the Lone Star State has ended, but legislative response and plans for an appeal to the state supreme court are underway.


Formula Fight in Ohio: Big Questions about New Directions

Governor John Kasich released his budget proposal earlier this year, but legislators and education stakeholders have not embraced it in the face of questions about equity, privatizing initiatives, and actual impact on schools.


Colorado School Finance Action in Court and Legislature

The Colorado Supreme Court heard oral arguments and ruled on the constitutionality of the state’s school finance system in advance of the Legislature undertaking reforms to that system.


Washington Legislature Works to Address Court Order

As this year’s session ends, lawmakers approve increases for education, but it is still unclear whether voters must approve tax hikes.


School Fees at Issue in Idaho and California

An Idaho grandfather’s efforts to stop school districts from charging student fees has met with procedural hurdles; California will clarify when fees can be charged.


Louisiana Voucher Funding Unconstitutional

The Louisiana Supreme Court says voucher law diverts money exclusively designated for public schools.


Alabama Voucher Law Passes Amid Major Controversy

Alabama’s new voucher law may still face legal hurdles, despite overcoming one lawsuit before being signed by Governor Robert Bentley.


States Continue Charter School Debates

A number of states continue to struggle with policy decisions related to charter schools, particularly virtual charters.


Local Revenue per Pupil, 2000-2009

Schools in towns and rural communities have, on average, much less local revenue per pupil than schools in cities and suburbs.


Rural Policy Matters: April 2013

Rural Policy Matters: April 2013The April 2013 issue of Rural Policy Matters features a stories about a place-based youth leadership initiative in Glouster, Ohio; how sequestration will affect rural schools; the 2014 White House education budget; selection of the 2013 Global Teacher Fellows; School Discipline News; Rural School Funding News; and a graph.
Date: April 16, 2013
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index


Student Leadership on Historic Clock Is Community Catalyst

Student engagement around a historic local clock is becoming a key part of a local community renaissance in Glouster, Ohio.


Some Rural Schools Among First to Face Sequester Cuts

While most cuts in federal education spending forced by sequestration — the across-the-board federal spending cuts that went into effect in March — will occur in the 2013–14 school year, states and districts that receive funding through the Secure Rural Schools Act must return a portion of funding already received.


Facts and Figures: States That Spend More Than $7,000 on Instruction for Each Rural Student

Question: Which 10 states spend more than $7,000 on instruction per rural student?
Date: April 12, 2013
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, School Finance/Funding


2013 Global Teacher Fellows Selected

Thirty-three rural and small town teachers from around the country will travel the world this summer.


White House Education Budget Unveiled

The White House budget for fiscal year 2014 includes a 4.6% increase in discretionary federal education spending, most of which is in pre-kindergarten programs and competitive grants.


Louisiana Voucher Law Still in Courts

Governor Bobby Jindal’s voucher law prevents districts from complying with federal desegregation orders and violates the state constitution, according to recent judgments. But those rulings are on appeal
Date: April 12, 2013
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Kansas Court Rules State Violating Constitution in Education Funding Case

The three-judge panel’s decision has been met with a flurry of activity by legislators who oppose increasing funding to schools.
Date: April 12, 2013
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Enrollment in Dual Credit or AP/IB Courses, by Locale (2010-11)

Students in rural and small town schools are less likely to be enrolled in Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses than their peers in other locales, but they are more likely to be enrolled in Dual Credit college courses.
Date: April 12, 2013
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs


Police in Schools Increase Arrests, According to Report on Discipline in Mississippi

Suspension rates are nine times higher in some Mississippi schools than the national average, entangling many children and youth in the criminal justice system for minor misbehaviors. 


U.S. Senate Subcommittee Holds Hearings On School-to-Prison Pipeline

Senate hearing is important federal acknowledgement of the school-to-prison pipeline crisis.


Office of Civil Rights Has Increased Its Enforcement Activity

A new report documents that the Office of Civil Rights has increased its enforcement and investigative activity and has expanded its involvement into issues it had not previously addressed, including sexual violence and bullying and harassment.


Federal Commission Highlights Funding as a Major Cause of Inequity Among Schools

A federal commission, of which Rural Trust President Doris Terry Williams is a member, recently issued their initial report, "For Each and Every Child." The report recommends a variety of ways to improve equity in schools and opportunity in communities.


Arizona Court Says Annual Inflationary Increase for Schools Are Not Optional

Funding increases for schools will resume after an Arizona court says the legislature cannot pick and choose which elements to support.


Arkansas Court Decision Jeopardizes Lake View Funding Reforms

A decision by the Arkansas Supreme Court could open the door to actions that reduce education finance adequacy and equity in the state.


RPM Special Edition on School Violence

Rural Policy Matters: Special Edition on School ViolenceThis special edition of Rural Policy Matters focuses on school violence and includes information about school violence incidents over the past 40 years. In addition, it includes policy recommendations, reflections, and graphics.


RPM Special Edition on School Violence:
The Distance Between

This editorial frames the report and brings a rural perspective to the current debate on public safety, guns, and schools.


RPM Special Edition on School Violence:
InfoGraphic: School Violence Incidents, 1974-2013

This infographic can be printed as either 8.5" x 11" or as 11" x 17".


About This Special Edition on School Violence: Purpose and Approach

Read this section to understand what we hope this special edition of RPM can contribute and why we took a narrative approach to our exploration of violent incidents in schools.


RPM Special Edition on School Violence:
Introduction: Methods and Definitions

Read this section to understand how we put this report together, how we defined “school violence,” and how we sorted specific incidents into meaningful categories.


RPM Special Edition on School Violence:
Summary of Patterns in the Incidents

Read this section to understand the major patterns inherent in the school violence events included in the report.


RPM Special Edition on School Violence:
In-Depth Exploration of Incidents

Read this section to get more detailed information about patterns in the incidents.


RPM Special Edition on School Violence:
Violence Begets Violence: Revenge, Copycatting, Triggers, and Threads

Read this section to learn about connections between specific incidents.


RPM Special Edition on School Violence:
Schools Inside and Out: Practices and Policy Initiatives to Protect Everyone in School Settings

Read this section for descriptions of practices and policies that can lead to safer, happier, and more productive schools.


RPM Special Edition on School Violence:
Chart of Mass Violence Incidents

View this chart for more specific information about the 80 incidents of Mass Violence identified in this report.


Percentage of Schools Reporting Violent Crime That Occurred at School By Locale

Schools in rural locations were more likely to report no violent crime than in school than schools in other locations.


RPM Special Edition on School Violence:
Conclusions: Putting It All In Context

Read this section for a brief summary and analysis of the context for reducing violence in American schools.


RPM Special Edition on School Violence: Not What You Think: Patterns in School Violence

This infographic presents major patterns in incidents of violence in schools since 1974. It can be printed on 8.5" x 11" paper.


RPM Special Edition on School Violence: InfoGraphic: What Makes Schools Safe Also Makes Them Successful

This infographic illustrates how school climate, connections, and relationships can reduce the likelihood of violence. It can be printed on 8.5" x 11" paper.


Rural Policy Matters: November 2012

Rural Policy Matters: November 2012The November 2012 issue of Rural Policy Matters includes stories that feature innovations in rural schools; an overview of the outcomes of state ballot initiatives related to education; Part 3 of “The Rules We Play By”; School Discipline News; Rural School Funding News, a graph, and more.
Date: November 28, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Life is Good: Educational Innovation in Rural Alaska

At Whittier Community School, students take charge of their own education.


The Rules We Play By, Part 3: Citizen Action and Research

Local public schools are governed by a variety of rules. But who makes the rules? This segment of “The Rules We Play By” is the third in a series of RPM articles that explore some of the ways public policy affects what’s possible in local schools — and why you should care.


Some Ballot Initiatives Could Have Far-Reaching Outcomes

Voters decided education-related ballot initiatives in many states this month, some with potentially far-reaching results.


Texas Legislators Grapple with Fixing the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Senate committees in Texas heard testimony in a day-long hearing on high rates, discriminatory trends of school discipline in the state.


Kentucky Court Considers Miranda Warnings

Kentucky’s Supreme Court will determine whether students should receive Miranda warnings when questioned by law enforcement in school settings.
Date: November 27, 2012
Related Categories: Administrator, In Local News, Networks/Groups, Parent, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline


Ohio School Levies Meet Mixed Success; School Funding Fight Likely

Voters in the Buckeye State approved many local district requests for funding, but calls are growing louder for a school finance system overall. 


Georgia Charter Law Faces Legal Fight

Voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative that would expand charter operations in Georgia. But some opponents are challenging it in court, arguing that the language of the initiative was misleading.


Georgia District Must Clarify Use of Social Security Numbers, DOJ Says

The U.S. Department of Justice has entered into an agreement with Henry County, Georgia to end their practice of requiring Social Security Numbers for students.


Teacher Certification by Locale

Teachers in rural schools are more likely than teachers in other locations to be certified in all classes they teach.
Date: November 27, 2012
Related Categories: Administrator, Media, Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: Graphs, School Location, Teacher Issues


Facts and Figures: States That Spend Less Than $5,000 on Instruction for Each Rural Student

Question: Which 13 states spend less than $5,000 on instruction per rural student?
Date: November 26, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, School Finance/Funding


Rural Policy Matters: October 2012

Rural Policy Matters: October 2012The October 2012 issue of Rural Policy Matters includes stories that feature innovations in rural schools; a youth-led poverty reduction program that's improving economic prospects in its community; an overview of state ballot initiatives related to education; Part 2 of "The Rules We Play By"; School Discipline News; Rural School Funding News; a graph; and more.
Date: October 29, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


The Health and Future of Our Community

Students lead economic development prospects in their communities.


Voters Consider Ballot Initiatives on Education

Next month's elections will steer a course in many states with education initiatives on the statewide ballot.


Arizona School Using Culture and Innovative Math Project to Boost Student Success

As part of RPM's spotlight on rural education innovations, we feature STAR School in Arizona, where achievement in soaring, thanks to the school's emphasis on cultural appropriateness and its unique early childhood math program.


The Rules We Play By, Part 2: Who Makes the Rules?

Local public schools are governed by a variety of rules. But who makes those rules? The "Who Makes the Rule?" is the second in a series of RPM stories that explores some of the ways public policy affects what's possible in local schools — and why you should care.
Date: October 29, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Education Policy and Activism


School Turnaround Policies Unlikely to Improve Student Performance, According to Report

A new study argues that most current school reforms are unlikely to improve education and may weaken student performance, school climate, and communities. It argues instead for sustained investment in high-poverty schools, support for teachers, and authentic engagement of parents and communities in the development of reforms.


Alabama State Department of Education Sued Over Student Records

Advocacy organization says harsh immigration law forced students to flee schools for fear of deportation.


Schools That Change Communities

A new film documents the potential of place-based education.
Date: October 29, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Rural Trust Recommends
Related Tags: Place-based Learning, School-Community Partnerships


Kentucky School Board Approves Limits on Use of Seclusion and Restraint

The Kentucky State School Board has approved a policy that restricts the use of seclusion and restraints unless there is immediate risk of harm.
Date: October 29, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Disabilities, Discipline


New Film on Positive Effects of PBIS

A new documentary points up the challenges of students with emotional and behavioral disabilities and how Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports can make a difference for these students and their schools.
Date: October 29, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Disabilities, Discipline


Meridian Mississippi Officials Sued by Department of Justice for Operating "School to Prison Pipeline"

After an extensive investigation revealing a number of illegal practices, DOJ has brought suit against several agencies to force reform.
Date: October 29, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Disabilities, Discipline


Plaintiffs and Allies in Colorado School Funding Case Ask High Court to Uphold Ruling

The Rural School and Community Trust was among the "friends of the court" who filed briefs urging the Colorado Supreme Court to uphold a December 2011 ruling that found the state's school finance formula unconstitutional. 
Date: October 29, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Grandparent Brings Constitutional Challenge to Idaho School Fees

Plaintiffs in a new lawsuit say fees violate the state constitution provision that guarantees "free, common schools" to students. The suit invokes a long-dormant school funding case in the state.


Massive School Funding Trial Begins in Texas

The combined cases involve six different sets of plaintiffs, representing three-quarters of the five million students in the Lone Star State.
Date: October 29, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Proposed Pennsylvania Legislation to Revise Charter School Funding Dies

Keystone state legislators struggle with reforming charter school regulations in the wake of lawsuits over funding.


Louisiana Judge Questions Whether Vouchers Impacting Desegregation Orders

The state superintendent of education must respond to allegations from a rural district that it cannot afford to comply with a new state voucher law and desegregation orders.


California Law Requiring Charters to Serve Free and Reduced Price Meals Vetoed

Governor Brown's veto revives questions about how well loose oversight serves poor students in charter schools.


2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP): Writing, Grades 8 and 12

The NAEP writing scores of students in schools in rural communities and small towns fall between those of students in cities and suburbs.
Date: October 29, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, School Location


Facts and Figures: States With a High Percentage of Rural English Language Learner Students

Question: In which 11 states are more than 5% of all rural students classified as English Language Learners?
Date: October 28, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Rural Policy Matters: September 2012

Rural Policy Matters: September 2012The September 2012 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes the stories: Teachers Interpret International Travel; STEM STAR Offers Successful Rural Technology Model; Arizona Must Expand ELL Services; Charter Challenges; School Discipline News: Rural School Funding News, a graph, and more.
Date: September 27, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Teachers Interpret International Travel

The value of opportunities to travel abroad comes home as Global Fellows gather to reflect on their experiences.
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: Place-based Learning, Teacher Issues


STEM STAR Offers Effective Model for Technology Integration in Rural Schools

The STEM STAR model trains high school students to work with teachers and other students to expand their technology skills, integrate technology in teaching and learning, and develop and evaluate substantial technology-infused science project.
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, Investing in Innovation, Technology


Arizona Forced to Adopt Better Practices for Identifying English Language Learners

Arizona must provide instruction for English Language learners until students have tested proficient in all areas.
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: English Language Learners (ELL), Federal Programs


Heated Tennessee Charter Battles Point Up Issues

The rapid expansion of charter schools in Tennessee is raising issues relevant to other states as well.
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Charter Schools


Studies Continue to Show Disparate Discipline

Several new studies provide additional evidence that schools use harsh discipline policies with specific groups of students, especially African-American males and students with disabilities, at much higher rates than other student groups.
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: African-American students, Discipline, Graduation Rate/Dropout


South Carolina Rural Districts Hear Familiar Refrain in Court

The high-poverty rural districts at the heart of South Carolina's school funding lawsuit faced a volley of blame-the-victim questions in court. 
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Kansas Districts Make Final Arguments

Plaintiffs argue that rising costs and requirements and a 16% cut in funding are seriously compromising the quality of education. But the state claims cuts are “insignificant.”
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Florida Districts Will Have Their Day in Court

The Florida Supreme Court has found that a group of non-profit and parent plaintiffs who charge the state fails to properly fund schools can seek a trial.
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Remedy Phase in Washington State Finance Case Moves Forward

The Washington legislature is providing its first report to the Court on how it plans to fund schools in the state.
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Georgia Districts Nearing Insolvency, But Funding Commission Recommends Only Minor Changes

Despite major finance problems in many districts, a state commission charged with making suggestions for funding in Georgia's public schools recommends only minor changes to the formula. 
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Chester-Upland District in "Recovery Status"

The state of Pennsylvania has settled two federal lawsuits with the small cash-strapped Chester-Upland school district. 
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Charter Schools, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Report Highlights Underlying Causes of Finance Inequity

A new report from the Center for American Progress analyzes the causes of deep inequities in funding in the nation's schools.
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Most States Still Cutting Education According to Center for Budget and Policy Priorities Report

A report from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities find that most states are still cutting funding for education, four years after the recession began.
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Local, State, and Federal Revenue per Pupil, by School District Locale: 2008-09

Rural and small town schools have lower funding levels than schools in other locales.
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, School Finance/Funding


Facts and Figures: States With Higher Percentages of Minority Rural Students

Question: Nationally, more than one-quarter of all rural students are classified as minorities according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Minority students exceed this average in 18 states. Which states are they?
Date: September 25, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, Minority Students


Rural Policy Matters: August 2012

Rural Policy Matters: July 2012The August 2012 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes a story about the travels of the Rural Trust Global Fellows; The Rules We Play By; Budget Sequestration: Tough Times Ahead? Race To The Top-Districts Competition and Rural Schools; Discipline News; Rural School Funding News; a graph; and more.
Date: August 28, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


The Rules We Play By

The official rules — at whatever level — set the tone, shape expectations, and govern the ways humans interact.
Date: August 28, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Community Organizing, Education Policy and Activism


Budget Sequestration: Tougher Times Ahead for Rural Schools?

High-poverty rural schools could face steep cuts if Congress and the President don’t reach agreement on how to address the nation’s budget deficit.
Date: August 28, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, What's New
Related Tags: Federal Policy, School Finance/Funding


RTTT-D Competition and Small High-Poverty Districts

The Race to the Top-District competition is available to districts and consortia of districts, and it is aimed at classroom level reform efforts. But its requirements raise challenges for rural districts. 
Date: August 28, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Policy, Race to the Top, School/District Size


AP and IB Credits Earned by Locale, 2009-10

This chart shows AP and IB credits earned by locale for 2009-10.
Date: August 28, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, High School, School Location


Alabama Schools Not Allowed to Check Immigration Status

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an Alabama law requiring schools to check the immigration status of newly enrolling students and their parents violates equal protection guarantees.
Date: August 28, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Immigration, Minority Students


DOJ Investigation Finds Mississippi County Court, Police Department and Youth Services Operating School-to-Prison Pipeline

The U.S. Department of Justice has accused agencies in Lauderdale County and Meridian City, Mississippi of violating the constitutional rights of children by arresting and incarcerating them, without due process, often for minor school infractions.
Date: August 28, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: African-American students, Disabilities, Discipline


New Ruling Is Good News for At-Risk Preschoolers in North Carolina

A North Carolina court has agreed that the state cannot create barriers that prevent children from enrolling in pre-kindergarten programs.
Date: August 28, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, Rural School Funding News


Proposed Georgia Constitutional Amendment on Charters Highlights Debate Over Funding

A constitutional amendment on the November ballot would allow a politically appointed commission to authorize charter schools over the objections of local boards and the state. 
Date: August 28, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Charter Schools, Rural School Funding News


Fact and Figures: 16 States With High Rural Student Populations

Question: Rural students comprise more than 1/3 of all students in which 16 states?
Date: August 27, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


A Life-Changing Experience: Global Fellows Travelogue, Part 2

2012 RTGTF Fellow Katie Hendrickson at the Louvre's Musée des Arts Décoratifs.The Rural Trust's Global Teacher Fellows spent the summer traveling the world as part of their self-designed summer learning experiences. Here participants share experiences — and photos.
Date: August 27, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Teacher, What's New
Related Tags: Global Teacher Fellowship, Place-based Learning, Teacher Issues


Rural Policy Matters: July 2012

Rural Policy Matters: July 2012The July 2012 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes stories about the travels of the Rural Trust Global Fellows; i3 Development grants; Impact of Charter School Funding on Small Districts, Discipline News, Rural School Funding News, a graph, and more.
Date: July 27, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


A Life-Changing Experience: Global Fellows Travelogue, Part 1

Global Teacher Fellows are traveling the world and sharing experiences — and photographs.
Date: July 27, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: Global Teacher Fellowship, Place-based Learning, Teacher Issues


Fostering Happiness and Success in the Classroom

Two rural North Carolina elementary schools have been selected as recipients of awards from the Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children.
Date: July 27, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Elementary School, Income Related Issues


Chelsea Jerome: 2012 Rural Recipient of Scholarship from Leonore Annenberg College Scholarship Fund

A Vermont student is the latest rural recipient of a scholarship from the Leonore Annenberg College Scholarship Fund.
Date: July 27, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues


Ten Highly Rated i3 Pre-Applicants Focus on Rural Education

Among the 124 highly rated pre-applicants for i3 Development grants, ten selected Rural Education as an Absolute Priority.
Date: July 27, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Programs, Investing in Innovation


Some Effects of Charter School Funding Plans on Smaller School Districts

The rapid expansion of charter schools in some states is raising questions about their impact on the funding of regular public schools.


USDA Releases Resource Guide for Rural Communities

The USDA has released a guide to resources available to rural communities through several federal agencies.
Date: July 27, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Announcements, School Location


New Report Finds Harmful Health Effects of Harsh Discipline

A new study concludes that harsh and exclusionary school discipline practices can have negative effects on students' mental and physical health and positive discipline can help improve overall well-being. 
Date: July 27, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline, Income Related Issues


Missouri Plan Prorates Funding Shortfall Among Districts

A State Department plan stabilizes funding in Missouri, but leaves the poorest districts without the funding increases they were due.
Date: July 27, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


New York Funding Lawsuit Moves Forward

Plaintiffs may continue with a lawsuit that charges the state’s school funding formula is inequitable. 
Date: July 27, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Six Finance Lawsuits in Texas

Two lawsuits brought by charter school organizations bring the number of school finance lawsuits in the state to six.
Date: July 27, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Pennsylvania Lawsuit Raises New Issues

A school finance lawsuit filed in federal court raises questions about special education and charter schools as well as adequacy of state funding.
Date: July 27, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Total Number of Charter Schools by Locale, 2009-10

This chart shows the distribution of charter schools among urban, suburban, town, and rural school districts.
Date: July 27, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, School Location


Facts and Figures About States With High Rural Student Populations

Question: More than half a million students attend rural schools in each of these three states; which states are they?
Date: July 26, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Rural Policy Matters: June 2012

Rural Policy Matters: June 2012The June 2012 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes stories about changes to state charter school laws; updates from Global Fellows; new emphases on place in federal programs; possible action on Highly Qualified Teacher rules; Michigan advising districts to address zero-tolerance discipline policies; Rural School Funding News, a graph, and more.
Date: June 26, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


North Carolina, Others, Hotly Debate Charter School Rules

North Carolina is just one of the states embroiled in fierce debate, legislative activity, and court involvement over the role of charter schools in the future of public education.


Charter Schools Enroll Fewer Students with Disabilities, Report Finds

Charters have significantly fewer students with special needs, according to the GAO, but the reasons why are unclear.


Travel Inspiration from Global Fellow

Carol Trickler, one of the 2012 Global Fellows, shares her inspiration.


"Impact in Place": A New Federal Policy Direction?

Several federal initiatives have made place a key concept. A report released this month describes some of these initiatives. RPM provides interpretation and a rural perspective.


Future of Highly Qualified Teacher Rules Still Unclear

The Rural Trust, along with nearly 100 education, civil rights, and disability groups is urging Congress to reserve Highly Qualified status for teachers who have completed certification training. 


Parents as Teachers Featured in Latest Rural Trust Webinar

The Parents as Teachers program is a home visitation model that supports families with young children. Participating children have seen big gains in general development, school readiness, health, and parent-child involvement.


White House Rural Council Announces Rural Online Community

The U.S. Department of Education announced a new initiative of the White House Rural Council: online community of practice group for rural schools.
Date: June 26, 2012
Related Categories: Collaborations, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Education Policy


New Race to the Top Stresses Student-Teacher Relationships

Race to the Top guidelines announced late last month prioritize programs that build relationships between students and teachers at the classroom level.


Michigan State Board of Education Advises Districts to Revisit Zero-Tolerance Policies

Policymakers in Michigan have passed a resolution advising districts to address the alarming rates of suspensions and expulsions that have resulted from zero tolerance policies.
Date: June 26, 2012
Related Categories: Administrator, Elected Official/Staff, In Local News, Policy Maker, Rural Policy Matters, Student
Related Tags: Discipline


Education Funding Reports Grade States and Districts

Several recent analyses of education spending have been released, and rural school finance advocates will recognize the themes. 


Major School Finance Litigation Underway Again in Kansas

Following a strong decision in their favor, Kansas districts are now challenging the state’s underfunding of education over the past six years.


Many Thanks to RSFN Editor Amanda Adler

Special thanks to Amanda Adler who served as Interim Editor of RPM from March through May.
Date: June 26, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News


Distribution of Traditional, Charter, and Public Schools by Locale, 2009-10 School Year

Rural communities are home to 33% of the nation’s regular public schools, 16% of charters, and nearly 23% of private schools.


Facts and Figures about States With Most Schools in Rural Places

Question: In which 15 states are more than half of all schools located in a rural place?


Rural Policy Matters: May 2012

Rural Policy Matters: May 2012The May 2012 edition of Rural Policy Matters features stories on Place-Based Learning Events in Missouri and Vermont; youth-led poverty reduction work in Louisiana; new school discipline legislation in Colorado; school finance news from South Carolina and Iowa; and more.


Thomasville Rendezvous Celebrates Place-Based Learning

Over 100 participants spent time sharing their successes with place-based learning at this annual meeting, which also included workshops, the Coover Place-Based Education grant awards and the announcement of the 2012 Ozarks Teacher Corps.


"Moving to Higher Ground" Event Highlights Successes for Rural Schools and Students

The 2012 Vermont Rural Partnership’s annual place-based learning event for members of its network spotlighted youth-led and intergenerational projects that have transformed schools and communities.


Rural Louisiana Students Continue to Help Build Community Wealth

Student-run tax centers and other youth-led programs have returned over $320,000 to East Iberville residents this year and are building important school-community connections.


Rural Schools a Growing Part of the National Community School Conversation

The Coalition for Community Schools’ biennial forum is a major convening of community school advocates, and the Rural Trust engaged participants on related policy issues with particular impact on rural schools.


Global Teacher Fellows Describe the Inspiration Behind the Application: Second in a Series

Meet the 2012 Class of Global Teacher Fellows in this ongoing series featuring interviews where they describe their projects and plans for the summer.


Rural Stakeholders to Discuss Implementation of Common Core Standards

SCORE, the Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education, will convene education leaders from Tennessee and around the country to discuss special issues of implementing the Standards in rural communities.


South Carolina Supreme Court Moves on School Funding Case

After almost four years of silence, the Palmetto State’s highest court has ordered attorneys to re-argue the case.
Date: May 30, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Iowa Supreme Court Refuses to Reinstate School Standards Case

The Iowa Supreme Court has refused to require the state to adopt specific content standards for schools, but leaves door open for future constitutional challenges.
Date: May 30, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Colorado Students Win State Law Reforms of Student Discipline Code

After a two-year effort, student, parent, and community advocates have won major reforms to state laws on school discipline.


Nonprofit Petitions U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Zero Tolerance Case

A civil liberties organization has asked the nation’s highest court to consider the case of a 14-year-old expelled for a plastic pen shooter.


New Report Focuses on Another Side of the School-to-Prison Pipeline

A Georgetown study highlights the barriers faced by students returning to school after criminal justice system involvement.


Guidance Issued on Use of Seclusion and Restraint in Schools

The U.S. Department of Education has released a resource document that discourages use of these practices in schools.


Rural School District Performance on NAEP U.S. History Assessment

Students in rural districts taking this exam are holding their own with peers in other geographic settings.
Date: May 30, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, Graphs


Facts and Figures about Rural Teacher Salaries

Question: Which thirteen states have the lowest rural teacher salary expenditures per full-time equivalent (a proxy for measuring full-time teacher salaries)?


Reminder: Don't Miss Upcoming Rural School Innovation Webinar!

The fifth in a series of webinars sponsored by The Rural School and Community Trust is June 13 and there is no cost for registration.


Rural Policy Matters: April 2012

Rural Policy Matters: April 2012The April 2012 edition of Rural Policy Matters features stories on the new class of Rural Trust Global Teacher Fellows, on a place-based arts program in Missouri, school finance news updates from Montana, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, and more.


Reminder: Don't Miss Upcoming Dropout Prevention Webinar!

The first of three dropout prevention webinars sponsored by U.S. Department of Education with assistance from Jobs for the Future is May 3 and registration is very limited.


2012 Rural Trust Global Teacher Fellows Announced

23 rural teachers from 11 different states have received fellowships to travel the world this summer to gain once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will inform their teaching.


Global Teacher Fellows Describe the Inspiration Behind the Application

Meet the 2012 Class of Global Teacher Fellows in this ongoing series featuring interviews where they describe their projects and plans for the summer.


Community Initiative Supporting Rural Arts Education in the Ozarks

Placeworks, a place-based community initiative, is helping to fill the need for art education in rural schools across the Ozarks region of Missouri.


Gainesville Schools and Community Benefit from Foundation Investment

The Mission-Related Investment Program of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks has made it possible for Gainesville School District to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy costs.


Missouri Formula Fight Likely to Produce Mostly Losers, Few Winners

A Missouri statehouse battle over how to deal with a combination of factors negatively impacting school funding has rural districts pitted against suburban and urban schools, and neither side is likely to win.


Hold-Harmless Clause Spurs Pennsylvania Legislators' Planned School Finance Lawsuit

Three Pennsylvania State Representatives have announced that they plan to file a lawsuit claiming the current school funding formula violates the state Constitution's equal protection clause but are targeting a rural-friendly provision in doing so.


Ohio Still Seeking Stable, Constitutional Funding Formula

In the fifteen years since the first Ohio State Supreme Court ruling finding the school finance system unconstitutional, there have been at least three attempts to come up with a new formula, and a fourth is set to begin soon.


Montana Rural District Coalition Secures Additional Funding for Schools

The State of Montana has agreed to increase school funding for FY13 by a full inflationary adjustment after being sued for not complying with a law requiring it to do so.


Rural School District Enrollment: Variations across Census Regions

The highest median rural district enrollment by far is in the South, at close to four times that in the West.
Date: April 28, 2012
Related Categories: Community Advocate, Media, Policy Maker, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, Graphs


Facts and Figures about the Mobility of Rural Students

Question: Which three states have the highest rates of rural student mobility, that is, the highest numbers of rural students who have changed residence in the previous 12 months?
Date: April 27, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, Why Rural Matters


Rural Policy Matters: March 2012

Rural Policy Matters: March 2012The March 2012 edition of Rural Policy Matters features reminders about upcoming Investing in Innovation Development Grant deadlines, stories on an important policy victory in Arkansas and foundation-building in that state; coverage of the Southern Regional School-to-Prison Pipeline ActionCamp; Rural School Funding news; and more.
Date: March 30, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Don't Miss Upcoming i3 Deadlines!

Investing in Innovation Development Grant pre-applications must be submitted by April 9, and the deadline to apply to be a peer reviewer has been extended.
Date: March 30, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Programs, Investing in Innovation, School Finance/Funding


Arkansas Rural Advocates Protect Transportation Funding for Districts

Arkansas’ Rural Community Alliance averts a transportation funding loss of over $100K that would have impacted some of the state’s smallest districts.


RCA and Allies Explore New Ways to Build Support for Their Work

Arkansas’ Rural Community Alliance convenes training on foundation-building in Alpena.
Date: March 30, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Civic Engagement, Community Organizing, Consolidation


Rural Advocates Attend Strategy Workshop to Combat Harsh School Discipline

North Carolina and South Carolina rural education working groups connect with others in the region who are working to dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline.
Date: March 30, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline, Education Policy and Activism, Youth


School Discipline Reform Underway in Colorado

Student-led efforts have culminated in legislation that would reduce suspensions and expulsions in Colorado.
Date: March 30, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Community Organizing, Discipline, Education Policy and Activism, Youth


New Civil Rights Data Released

New federal data reveal significant racial disparities in school discipline and provides tools for advocacy.
Date: March 30, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: African-American students, Discipline, Teacher Issues


ACE Amendment Voted Down But Issue Remains Alive

U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee does not advance All Children are Equal Act, but important groundwork was laid to move ahead.
Date: March 30, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Education Policy, Formula Fairness Campaign, Title I


Idaho School Districts Will Absorb Declining Enrollment Cost

A bill to protect schools from year to year funding swings has passed in Idaho, but local districts are footing the bill.
Date: March 30, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Budget and Policy Debate in Alaska Influenced by Finance Litigation

Alaska legislators argue over how to support schools but all are conscious of what the court has ordered.
Date: March 30, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Trial Date in Kansas School Funding Suit Looms Large

School districts suing the State of Kansas will return to court this June, and both the governor and the legislature are taking steps to try to mitigate the eventual effect of the lawsuit.
Date: March 30, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


School Safety Measures: Violent Victimization at School

Rural school rates are half that of suburban schools and almost two-thirds lower than those of urban schools.
Date: March 30, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, Graphs


Facts and Figures About Rural Student Poverty

Question: Which state has the highest rate of poverty (as measured by eligibility for federally funded subsidized meals) among rural students?
Date: March 29, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, Why Rural Matters


Rural Policy Matters: February 2012

Rural Policy Matters: February 2012The February 2012 edition of Rural Policy Matters features a story on the rural Leonore Annenberg Scholarship Fund recipients; Rural Trust Executive Director Doris Terry Williams appointed to working group on dropout prevention and recovery; ACE Act to be considered as an amendment on February 28; Consolidation and charter laws make conflicting claims; Rural School Funding news; and more.
Date: February 23, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index


Rural Leonore Annenberg Scholars Appreciate Opportunity

Each year the Rural Trust works with the Leonore Annenberg Scholarship Fund to identify a rural student for the generous Leonore Annenberg Scholarship. Those Scholars have been very successful at their selective colleges. Some of the recipients reflect on what the Scholarship means for them.
Date: February 23, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: College/University, High School, Income Related Issues, Youth


Rural Trust's Williams Joins Work on Dropout Prevention and Recovery

Doris Terry Williams, Executive Director of the Rural Trust, was recently appointed to the rural education technical working group on dropout prevention and recovery established by the U.S. Department of Education.
Date: February 23, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline, Graduation Rate/Dropout, High School, Income Related Issues, Why Rural Matters


Finding Ways to Keep Students in School

Some states and districts are seeking the right combination of policy changes that will reduce dropout rates.
Date: February 23, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline, Education Policy and Activism


ACE Act Will Be Considered for Adoption February 28, 2012

The House Education and Workforce Committee will be considering adoption of the ACE Act on February 28...
Date: February 23, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Education Policy, Formula Fairness Campaign, Title I


Consolidation and Charter Policies Make Conflicting Claims

A new wave of legislation advocating the creation of charter schools uses arguments that run counter to those often used to close small schools and districts. Both policies raise complicated questions of equity and opportunity.
Date: February 23, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, Federal Education Policy


California Bus Funds Restored, But Districts Must Cut Budgets Elsewhere

Rural school districts will be able to continue to provide transportation this year and next, but schools will still have to reduce their budgets immediately; a lawsuit contends that schools are continuing to charge illegal fees to students to cover budget needs.
Date: February 23, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: K-12, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Georgia Looking for Ways to Support Rural Teacher Recruitment

Georgia will use part of its Race to the Top award to reward teachers for relocating to rural districts.


Washington High Court Rules Funding Is Inadequate

Olympic State school funding plaintiffs have won a major victory that confirms that the state’s responsibility to fund schools is not offset by fiscal crisis.
Date: February 23, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: K-12, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Alaska's Rural Districts Settle Lawsuit; Win Additional Funding

Rural and remote schools in the state will share $18 million for programming as the state continues to hone intervention activities mandated by the ruling in Moore v. Alaska.
Date: February 23, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: K-12, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Colorado Defendants Will Appeal Loboto Plaintiff Decision

Implementation of a new funding formula in Colorado will likely be delayed by appeals by that state’s governor and State Board of Education.
Date: February 23, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: K-12, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Instructional Expenditures per High School Graduate

Smaller high schools spend more per high school student, but much less per high school graduate.


Facts and Figures About States Where Rural Enrollment Doubled in the Past Decade

Question: In which eight states did rural enrollment more than double from 1999–2000 through 2008–2009?
Date: February 22, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, Why Rural Matters


Rural Policy Matters: January 2012

Rural Policy Matters: January 2012The January 2012 edition of Rural Policy Matters announces the resignation of long-time Policy Director, Marty Strange; covers the release of Why Rural Matters 2011–12; provides an update on proposed rural post office closures and what one statewide group is doing in response; Rural School Funding News; and more.
Date: January 27, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Marty Strange, Long-Time Policy Director At Rural Trust Resigns

Earlier this month, Marty Strange, Rural Trust Policy Director, resigned his position to return to consulting on a range of rural issues.
Date: January 27, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: RT Policy Department


Why Rural Matters 2011-2012 Released This Month

Overall rural enrollment in the nation’s schools continued to increase in recent years, in part because of significant increases in the numbers of Hispanic students. Rural poverty has also increased. These findings and many more were revealed with the release of Why Rural Matters 2011–12 earlier this month. Learn about rural education issues in your state and across the nation.
Date: January 27, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: RT Policy Department, School Location, Why Rural Matters


Rural Arkansans Bring National Attention to Post Office Closures

Arkansas’s Rural Community Alliance has helped communities across the state fight back against proposals to close their post offices. In the process, the organization has garnered national attention and brought a rural perspective to this important nationwide issue.
Date: January 27, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Community Development, Community Organizing


School Discipline Update: Maine Bill Would Prevent Expulsion Without Reentry Plan

Schools would not be allowed to expel students unless they have a plan to help students get back in school.
Date: January 27, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline


Vermont School Funding System Works

Vermont’s school funding system, which is unusual among states, provides funding levels that are equitable across districts and limits school property taxes to a percentage of household income.
Date: January 27, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Vermont's Most Unusual, Most Equitable School Funding System in a Nutshell

Vermont’s school funding system works to ensure strong educational opportunity for students across the state, no matter where they live. RPM explains how the system works.
Date: January 27, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


California's Frontal Assault on Rural Schools

Rural schools could bear the brunt of a proposal to end all funding for school transportation in California.
Date: January 27, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding, School Location


The U.S. School Transportation System is Massive

School buses transport 26 million public school students every day.
Date: January 27, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding, School Location


Money Matters When It Comes to Education

A new report analyzes school funding and student outcomes and finds that funding levels do make a difference. The analysis refutes claims, often argued by states defending their school funding systems, that funding levels don’t matter.
Date: January 27, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Desegregation/Funding Decision in Arkansas

A U.S. Circuit Court has reversed a lower court ruling ending state payments to support desegregation efforts in three Arkansas school system.


Public School Enrollment Increase, 1999-2009

Enrollment growth in rural schools outpaced other schools in recent years.
Date: January 27, 2012
Related Categories: Elected Official/Staff, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs


Facts and Figures About Number of U.S. Students Attending Rural Schools

Question: What percentage of U.S. students attend school in a rural district or a rural school in an urban district?
Date: January 26, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Rural Policy Matters: December 2011

Rural Policy Matters: December 2011The December 2011 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes a story about Montana’s decision to decline NCLB waivers; research that finds many Title I schools receive less state and local funding than other schools; new guidance for schools on voluntary efforts to achieve diversity; an update on the All Children are Equal Act and the Formula Fairness Campaign; Rural School Funding News; and more.
Date: December 30, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Montana Cites Rural Nature in Rationale for Declining NCLB Waivers

Most states have indicated they plan to apply in February for waivers of many No Child Left Behind provisions, but Montana announced this month that it sees the waiver provisions as inappropriate to state conditions.
Date: December 30, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Education Policy, No Child Left Behind, School Location


All Children Are Equal Act Gains Sponsors, Garners Attention

The bill to end discrimination in the way Title I funding is distributed has gained two more sponsors, continues to attract attention


Many Title I Schools Don't Get Comparable Share of State and Local Funding

A recent report from the U.S. Department of Education finds that many school districts spend less state and local funds per-pupil in their Title I and highest-poverty schools than in schools with lower rates of student poverty.
Date: December 30, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Education Policy, Income Related Issues, School Location, Title I


New Guidance for School Districts Seeking to Achieve Diversity, Avoid Racial Isolation

School districts have new federal guidance for voluntary approaches to achieving diversity and avoiding racial isolation in schools.
Date: December 30, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Education Policy, Income Related Issues


Colorado Coalition Wins Major Victory in School Finance Suit

Schools in Colorado have won a school finance lawsuit, and the judge made important observations about the importance of sufficient funding, facilities and opportunity for student achievement.
Date: December 30, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facilities, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Percent Public School Districts With Any Students Enrolled in Distance Education Courses, 2009-10

Rural schools, at all grade levels, are somewhat less likely than schools in other locales to enroll students in distance education courses.
Date: December 30, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Distance Learning, Graphs, School Location


Facts and Figures About States With the Largest Organizational Scale of Rural Schools

Question: In which five states is the “organizational scale” of rural schools largest? (Hint: “organizational scale” is a proxy for the overall size of schools and districts — or how consolidated, or not consolidated, rural schools are. It is computed by multiplying the total school enrollment by the total district enrollment.)
Date: December 29, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Rural Policy Matters: November 2011

Rural Policy Matters: November 2011The November 2011 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes a call to urge Congressional Representatives to support the ACE Act to end discrimination in Title I funding; a rural school with an interesting technology initiative; an important court decision in Alabama; a report on urban school closures that touches rural themes; Center for Midwestern Initiatives blog, Rural School Funding News; and more.
Date: November 30, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


All Children are Equal Act (H.R. 2485) to be Considered by the House Education and the Workforce Committee

The ACE act to end discrimination against most high-poverty districts in Title I funding is at an important juncture. Congressional Representatives need to hear from their constituents that this bill is critical.
Date: November 29, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, What's New
Related Tags: Formula Fairness Campaign, Income Related Issues, Title I


Leonore Annenberg Winner Innovates with Technology

Owsley County Elementary School, a 2010 winner of the Leonore Annenberg School Fund Grant, uses iPods and iPads to support learning, expose students to cutting edge technology, and continue learning when school is cancelled for snow.
Date: November 29, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Elementary School, Income Related Issues, Technology


Alabama Judge Finds Rural Discrimination in School Funding But No Legal Basis to Rule for Plaintiffs

In a landmark case, a federal district court acknowledges the discriminatory nature of Alabama’s tax system on rural schools and their students, but finds no legal basis on which to sustain the plaintiffs’ challenge.
Date: November 29, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, School Finance/Funding


Alabama Immigration Law Draws More Federal Scrutiny

The U.S. Department of Justice is asking for information from Alabama school districts about the enrollment of English Language Learners, and the state’s Attorney General is claiming the Department has no authority with regard to schools.
Date: November 29, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: English Language Learners (ELL)


Report on Urban School Closures Touches Rural Consolidation Themes

A recent report from the Pew Charitable Trusts looks at some of the potential outcomes of closing schools in Philadelphia.
Date: November 29, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, School/District Size, Teacher Issues


Center for Midwestern Initiatives Blog Launched

The Center for Midwestern Initiatives invites participants to its new blog.


Additional Texas Funding Lawsuits Filed

Not just one, but two lawsuits have been filed challenging the school funding system in Texas.
Date: November 29, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding, School Location


Studies Recommend Funding Changes in New Mexico

Two reports recently released in New Mexico recommend changing to the state finance system. But the reports present very different analyses of the problems and offer very different remedies.


Colorado Voters Reject Tax Increase for Schools

An effort in Colorado to raise taxes for schools has failed by a substantial margin.
Date: November 29, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


School Fees Pose Problems in Several States

As poor economies linger, more states have begun allowing schools to charge fees for a variety of school services and programs. But those fees are being challenged in several states.
Date: November 29, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Kansas Governor Making School Finance Reform Proposals

The Governor of Kansas is proposing a new school finance system, and many school supporters argue that lack of funding, and not the formula itself, is the real problem.
Date: November 29, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Total Number of Rural ELL Students, 2006-07 to 2009-10

The total number of students learning English in rural schools increased by nearly 50% in the three most recent years for which data is available.
Date: November 29, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: English Language Learners (ELL), Graphs


Facts and Figures About States With Lowest State Funding for Rural Schools

Question: Which six states spend the lowest percentage of state education funds on rural schools?
Date: November 28, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, School Finance/Funding


Rural Policy Matters: October 2011

Rural Policy Matters: October 2011The October 2011 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes stories about the recipients of the 2011 Global Teacher Fellowships; Analysis of i3 proposals that almost received funding; Likely impact of new i3 guidelines; School requirements of Alabama’s immigration law suspended; Niswonger Webinar report; Formula Fairness Campaign update; School discipline policy; Rural School Funding News; and more.
Date: October 27, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Global Teacher Fellowships Alter Lives of Participants

New energy and a renewed enthusiasm for teaching and learning are only some of the benefits for teachers who participated in the 2011 Rural Trust Global Fellowship Program.


Apply for a Rural Trust Global Teacher Fellowship

Apply now for a Rural Trust Global Teacher Fellowship and travel the world.
Date: October 27, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: Global Teacher Fellowship


Upcoming Webinar: Rural Classroom: Importance of Cooperative Learning

Join us for a November 10th webinar featuring the experiences of 2011 Global Teacher Fellows.
Date: October 27, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: Global Teacher Fellowship, Teacher Issues


Judge Suspends Portions of Alabama Immigration Law Affecting K-12 Education

A federal court has temporarily blocked portions of Alabama’s new immigration law, including requirements that schools report the immigration status of all newly enrolling students and their parents.


Why Some High-Scoring i3 Rural Projects Did Not Receive Funding

A Rural Trust analysis of rural i3 proposals that earned almost enough points to receive funding finds that the paucity of research and evaluation on rural schools may have hurt these applicants.
Date: October 27, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Education Policy, Investing in Innovation, School Location


Investing in Innovation Round Two Rural Priority

Applications for the latest round of Investing in Innovations grants are in, and a new rural “absolute priority” should result in projects more genuinely focused on rural schools.
Date: October 27, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Education Policy, Investing in Innovation, School Location


Northeast Tennessee College and Career Ready Consortium Webinar

The latest Rural Trust webinar on innovation in rural education featured the Niswonger Foundation’s College and Career Ready Consortium, which serves 26,100 students in 29 Tennessee high schools. We touch the highlights of that webinar here.
Date: October 27, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: College/University, High School, Investing in Innovation, Webinar


Formula Fairness Campaign Update

The Children's Defense Fund has listed the elimination of number weighting in the Title I formulas as a priority for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. 
Date: October 27, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Formula Fairness Campaign


School Discipline Update: Colorado Task Force Recommends End to Zero Tolerance; New Study Details Disparity in Discipline Rates Across Country

Colorado is looking to end zero tolerance policies and institute age-appropriate school disciplinary practices that help students learn positive behavior.
Date: October 27, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: African-American students, Discipline


Texas Faces New School Finance Litigation

A “hold harmless” provision in a remedy to a previous Texas lawsuit locked in higher school funding for high-wealth districts through a hold-harmless provision that directs higher rates of state funding to districts with high property values. That remedy is now under fire.
Date: October 27, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Alaska Rural Districts' Case Decided

After more than a decade, the Alaska legislature has implemented a funding formula that provides facilities funding for rural districts at levels equitable to urban districts.


New Finance Lawsuit in Montana

A lawsuit seeks funding that plaintiffs say was cut out of the state’s education budget.
Date: October 27, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Rural New Jersey Districts Head Back to Court

Rural districts in New Jersey are seeking recognition of their unique needs.
Date: October 27, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Average Scores in NAEP Science (2009) at Grades 4, 8, and 12, By School Locale

The average NAEP science scores of rural students fall over time.
Date: October 27, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs


Facts and Figures About States With Highest State Funding for Rural Schools

Question: Which five states spend the highest percentage of state education funds on rural schools?
Date: October 26, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Rural Policy Matters: September 2011

Rural Policy Matters: September 2011The September 2011 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes stories about place-based learning in high-poverty schools; new policy pressures on Alabama teachers; a new sponsor for legislation to bring fairness to the Title I formulas; school discipline; poverty in the U.S.; charter school legislation; Rural School Funding News; and more.
Date: September 28, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Place-Based Learning Offers Opportunities for High-Poverty Rural Schools

Place-based learning is a way for schools struggling with poverty, isolation, or limited resources to expand opportunities for students, improve achievement, and strengthen the community, all at the same time.


Rural Winners of Lenore Annenberg School Fund Grant Delve Into Place-Based Learning

Teachers in two rural elementary schools recently participated in place-based learning workshops that will help engage their students in the local community.


Alabama Teachers In Political and Legal Crosshairs

Alabama uses back-door methods to limit the political activity of teachers.


New Co-Sponsor of All Children Are Equal Act

The All Children are Equal Act in the U.S. House of Representatives has a new co-sponsor.


Don't Miss It!

Don’t miss commentary by Marty Strange, Rural Trust Policy Director, in Education Week.


Bill Would Expand Federal Funding for Charter Schools

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation that would increase federal funding for charter schools.


In The "Size Matters" Category...

Missouri votes to diminish accreditation status of two very small rural school districts based on student test scores.
Date: September 28, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: School/District Size


Poverty Increasing in Most States

It’s not news, but the increase in poverty in the U.S. since 2000 is striking. This interactive map shows state-by-state 30-year trends.
Date: September 28, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Poverty


Key Portion of Alabama Immigration Law Upheld

Alabama schools will have to document and report the immigration status of their students...


School Discipline Update: Arkansas Considers Changes to Education Programs in Youth Lockups

Arkansas lawmakers contemplate giving authority for education in juvenile justice centers to local school districts.


South Dakota Lawsuit Ends

South Dakota’s Supreme Court has found that plaintiffs did not show the state’s school system was “clearly and unmistakably” unconstitutional.


Committee Releases Initial Proposals for School Funding in Georgia

A committee to recommend changes to Georgia’s 25-year old school finance system released its initial proposals this month.


Arizona Revisits Consolidation

Arizona legislators consider consolidation options for school districts.


School District Enrollment by Locale, 2009-10

A two-graph bonus of enrollment information about U.S. schools.
Date: September 28, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, Income Related Issues


Facts and Figures About States With Low Rural Graduation Rates

Question: In which states are average graduation rates for rural students below the U.S. rate? (Hint: U.S. rural graduation rate is 69.2%.)


Rural Policy Matters: August 2011

Rural Policy Matters: August 2011The August 2011 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes stories about the Center for Midwestern Initiatives; proposed closures of rural post offices; positive developments in the campaign to bring fairness to the Title I formulas; the Southeast Rural Education Summit; an upcoming Rural Trust webinar; Rural School Funding News; and more.
Date: August 27, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Rural Trust Launches Regional Center

The Rural Trust recently announced the launch of the Center for Midwestern Initiatives. The Center will build partnerships, strengthen philanthropic assets for rural schools and communities, and promote place-based education.


Positive New Developments in the Formula Fairness Campaign

Both the All Children are Equal Act and the Formula Fairness Campaign have new co-sponsors.


Fact and Figures About States With High Rural Graduation Rates

Question: Which 10 states have rural graduation rates above 85%?


Rural School Innovations Webinar: The Niswonger Foundation's Northeast Tennessee College and Career Ready Consortium

The fourth webinar in a series on rural school innovations is scheduled for September 21st. Sign up now.


Proposed Post Office Closures Fall Hard on Rural Communities

The U.S. Postal Service is studying the closure of more than 4,000 post offices, many in rural communities.


Southeast Regional Education Summit Releases "Roadmap"

The Rural Trust co-sponsored a regional summit on improving education in the rural South in July. This month the summit’s co-sponsors released a follow-up report.
Date: August 25, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: School Location


States' Rights, Anti-Tax Officials Block Local Efforts for South Carolina Schools, Reject Federal Funding

As South Carolina schools face historic financial challenges, the Governor vetoes legislative initiatives to direct state budget surpluses to schools as well as local efforts to increase local funding, and the State Schools Superintendent rejects federal “Edujobs” funding, fails to address the under-funding of special education that results in a multi-million dollar federal penalty, and turns down RTTT application.
Date: August 25, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


North Carolina Wrangling Over 4-Year Kindergarten

Lawmakers are challenging a judge’s ruling that the decision of the North Carolina legislature to limit enrollment of at-risk children in the state’s four-year-old kindergarten program is unconstitutional.
Date: August 25, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Early Childhood, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Colorado Lawsuit Opens

After numerous setbacks, arguments in the Lobato school funding case are being heard this month.
Date: August 25, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Percentage of Rural Students Qualifying for Free or Reduced Meals

The percentage of rural students who qualify for free and reduced price lunches has increased steadily since 2007.
Date: August 25, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, Income Related Issues


Rural Policy Matters: July 2011

Rural Policy Matters: July 2011The July 2011 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes stories about the All Children are Equal (ACE) Act that would improve the Title I formulas, the Fiscal Fairness Act that would require most school districts to spend as much in their highest-poverty schools as in their lowest-poverty schools; the issue of teacher tenure and the kinds of changes to tenure that many states made in 2011; school discipline including a new report from Texas and an important U.S. Supreme Court decision; Rural School Funding News; and more.
Date: July 29, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


ACE Act Would Ease Title I Inequities

A bill introduced this month in the U.S. House of Representatives aims to alter the Title I formulas that are unfair to students in poorer, smaller school districts.
Date: July 29, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Community Organizing, Federal Programs, Formula Fairness Campaign, Title I


Paying Teachers for Performance: Issues and Dilemmas for Rural Schools, Teacher Tenure

RPM’s occasional series on pay-for-performance looks at the issue of teacher tenure and reviews some of the many ways that states changed tenure and related laws in their 2011 legislative sessions.
Date: July 29, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: Teacher Issues


Groundbreaking Texas Report Finds Harsh Discipline Is the Rule, Not the Exception

A study that tracked over a million Texas students found that almost 60% were expelled or suspended at least once in grades seven to twelve. Students with disabilities and African-American males received the highest rates of harsh punishment.
Date: July 29, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Disabilities, Discipline


Supreme Court Rules Children Must Be Treated as Children by Police

In response to a North Carolina case in which a juvenile was questioned by police at school and then charged with several crimes, the Supreme Court has ruled that children must be treated differently in police questionings than adults.
Date: July 29, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline


Washington School Funding Arguments Heard by State High Court

The State of Washington contends it is fulfilling its educational duties despite funding cuts to schools of nearly $4 billion.
Date: July 29, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


North Carolina Budget Writers Cannot Impede State’s Constitutional Duty, Judge Says

A judge rules that places caps on the number of low-income children who can participate in a state-funding pre-K program is unconstitutional.
Date: July 29, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Sources of Public School Funding, by Locale

Rural schools receive a lower portion of their school funding from the state than do suburban or town schools.
Date: July 29, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, School Finance/Funding, School Location


Facts and Figures About Locales That Depend on State Funding for Education

Question: Schools in which locale — city, suburb, town, or rural community — are most heavily reliant, on average, on state funding as a percentage of their education budget?
Date: July 28, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, School Location


Bill Would Require Districts to Spend “Comparably” In High-Poverty Schools

A new bill would amend the Title I law to require school districts to spend as much on the education of students in high-poverty schools as it does on students in low-poverty schools.


Rural Policy Matters: June 2011

Rural Policy Matters: June 2011The June 2011 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes stories about students who are bringing thousands of dollars into their rural communities; the new i3 guidelines; a call for i3 Peer Reviewers; Rural Research; a draft Number Weighting bill; the Southeastern Regional Rural Summit; the White House Rural Council; the latest installment in our series on Teacher Pay-for-Performance; School Discipline Policy Update; Rural School Funding News; and a graph.
Date: June 26, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Rural Students Channel Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars to Their Communities

Students in North Carolina and Louisiana are making a big economic impact on their communities and learning a lot about money in the process.
Date: June 26, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Civic Engagement, High School, Income Related Issues, Youth


New i3 Guidelines Better for Rural Schools

The deadline to apply for 2011 Investing in Innovation grants is August 2. New guidelines make rural schools one of five Absolute Priorities, and other changes could make the i3 program more responsive to the unique needs of rural students and their schools.
Date: June 26, 2011
Related Categories: Investing in Innovation, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Programs, Investing in Innovation, Research


Facts and Figures About Enrollment in Rural Schools

Question: True or False? Enrollment in rural schools continues to shrink as rural population ages and declines.
Date: June 25, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Test Your Rural School Knowledge With This Fun Quiz

How much do you know about rural education trends in the U.S.
Date: June 25, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Peer Reviewers Needed to Assess i3 Applications

Reviewers with experience in and knowledge about rural education are needed to help rate applications for the federal Investing in Innovation (i3) competitive grant program. Peer reviewer applications will be accepted through July 8.
Date: June 25, 2011
Related Categories: Investing in Innovation, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Programs, Investing in Innovation, Research


No Rural Cachet

Rural communities and problems get less attention from resesearchers than other commuities.
Date: June 25, 2011
Related Categories: Investing in Innovation, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Programs, Research, School Location


Number-Weighting Bill Drafted

A bill that deals with the impact of number weighting in the Title I formulas has been drafted in the U.S. Congress. The Formula Fairness Campaign gains momentum.
Date: June 25, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Programs, Formula Fairness Campaign, Title I


Save the Date for the 2011 Southeast Regional Rural Summit

The Southeast Regional Rural Summit is set for July 19–20, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Date: June 25, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Community Organizing, School Location, Updates


White House Rural Council

President Obama issued an Executive Order earlier this month establishing the White House Rural Council.
Date: June 25, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Education Policy


School Discipline Policy Update

The use of seclusion and restraint is a policy that contributes to students losing educational opportunity and dropping out of school. Students with disabilities are especially vulnerable to the use of seclusion rooms and physical or mechanical restraints in an attempt to change their behavior. Increasing concern about the safety of these practices has resulted in national attention to the matter. A variety of organizations have documented the abuse, injury, and deaths of students as a result of these practices and recommended the use of school-wide positive behavior supports as an alternative.
Date: June 25, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline


Reducing Exclusionary Discipline in Schools

A number of states and districts are beginning to reconsider zero tolerance policies and reliance on removing students from school for discipline violations.
Date: June 25, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: African-American students, Disabilities, Discipline, Income Related Issues


Colorado TABOR Lawsuit Filed

A Colorado lawsuit raises questions about "direct" and "representational" democracy.
Date: June 25, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Indiana Legislature Starves Small Districts; Feeds Voucher Program

Extensive changes to education policy in Indiana will reduce public school funding, especially for smaller districts, and will divert millions into a private school voucher program.
Date: June 25, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Student Enrollment by Locale, 2000-2010

This graph shows changes in student enrollment by locale during the past decade.
Date: June 25, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs


Rural Policy Matters: May 2011

Rural Policy Matters: May 2011The May 2011 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes stories about the proposed federal Office of Rural Education Policy; a report on the impact of recent weather disasters on rural communities; a report from the May Rural Innovations webinar; an update on the Formula Fairness Campaign; Rural School Funding News, and a graph showing the percentage of students receiving special education students in various school locales.
Date: May 31, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Scope of Rural Tornado Destruction Under-Reported

Half of all people killed in this spring’s violent storms were killed in rural communities and small rural towns. Even prior to the Joplin strike, 2011 was one of the deadliest tornado years on record, with 363 confirmed deaths, three-quarters of them in rural communities and small towns. So far this year, at least twelve schools have been demolished, three in Joplin, three in Tuscaloosa, and six in rural communities from Oklahoma to Alabama. RPM catalogs the rural impact and suggests that expert claims that this year’s high death rate is largely attributable to urban strikes ignore the rural facts.
Date: May 31, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Article


Federal Office of Rural Education Policy Proposed

U.S. Senators Max Baucus of Montana and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia have introduced legislation to create an Office of Rural Education Policy within the U.S. Department of Education.


Leonore Annenberg School Fund Grants Awarded

Two rural schools have been awarded Leonore Annenberg School Fund grants.


Facts and Figures About States With the Highest Salary Expenditures for Instructional Staff in Rural Schools

Question: Which five states have the highest average salary expenditures for instructional staff in rural schools?
Date: May 29, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Rural Innovations Webinar Series: New England Network for Personalization and Performance (NETWORK)

The Rural Trust is conducting a series of webinars featuring rural school innovations, including programs that won federal i3 grants and proposed to work in rural communities. The May webinar featured the work of NETWORK, which envisions a redesigned rural high school where learning happens anytime, anyplace, and where students participate in inquiry-based learning experiences and demonstrate their learning through complex, rigorous performance assessments.
Date: May 29, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: High School, Place-based Learning, School-Community Partnerships


Many Highest Poverty Districts Would Be Better Off If Congress Had Not Tried to Help Them

Number-weighting in the Title I formulas is so detrimental to most high-poverty districts that many would be better off if the formulas made no attempt to target more money to districts with high rates of poverty. This post from the Formula Fairness Campaign explains why.
Date: May 29, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Education Policy, Income Related Issues, Title I


Idaho's Declining Enrollment Safety Net Survives Another Year

In a year of massive educational policy changes in Idaho, the state’s safety net for schools with declining enrollments survives, barely.


Maine Funding Formula Under Scrutiny

Rural school districts in coastal Maine and other areas of the state where increases in property values have rapidly outpaced increases in income of full-time residents are seeking relief from aspects of the state’s school funding formula that result in lower state support for their schools.
Date: May 29, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Alabama School Funding Trial Wraps Up

Final arguments in an Alabama school funding lawsuit tie very low rural school funding to tax laws and other aspects of the state’s 1901 constitution intended to deny education opportunity to African American and low-income white residents.


Percent K-12 Students Qualifying for Special Education Services, By School Locale

Students who attend rural schools are slightly less likely to qualify for special education services than their city and suburban counterparts. Students in small towns are slightly more likely to qualify for special education services.
Date: May 29, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Disabilities, Graphs, School Location


Rural Policy Matters: April 2011

Rural Policy Matters: April 2011The April 2011 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes stories about the parallels between recent urban school consolidation proposals and consolidation initiatives in rural areas; a report on a recent court decision that will affect the ability of states to provide tax credits to cover costs of private education, among other things; an update on the Formula Fairness Campaign; the latest installment in our series on school finance, this time addressing teacher compensation; Rural School Funding News, and a graph showing the number of schools in rural, town, city, and suburban locations.
Date: April 27, 2011
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Urban Consolidations Raise Issues Similar to Rural Consolidations

Many urban districts around the nation are proposing school closures, prompted, in part, by school "reform" and turnaround initiatives and by budgetary woes. The issues and community responses bear striking similarity to those in rural areas. 


Case Has Far-Reaching Implications for Religious Freedom and Education

The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed an Arizona tax credit for private school scholarships to survive. The rational could make it harder for citizens to challenge government spending on religious activities.  


YouthBuild USA Co-Sponsors Formula Fairness Campaign

The national non-profit YouthBuild USA has joined the Formula Fairness Campaign as a co-sponsor.
Date: April 27, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Formula Fairness Campaign, School-Community Partnerships, Youth


Save the Date for the 2011 Southeast Regional Rural Summit

Save the date for a regional rural summit.




School Discipline Update: April 2011

New Mexico has just banned corporal punishment in schools and Texas seems poised to do so as well.


Zero Tolerance and the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Efforts to end zero-tolerance discipline problems continue to make headway.


Seclusion and Restraint

Several states are taking steps to limit the use of physical seclusion and restraint, especially on students with disabilities.


Rural School Funding News Special Series:
Financing Rural Schools: Characteristics of Strong Rural School Finance Systems

In this series, Rural School Funding News has reviewed general principles of school finance and sharing information about school funding systems that support rural schools and their unique characteristics and needs. While there are no easy answers to questions about how to fund schools, especially in this economic climate, we hope that these articles provide you with information about promising practices, ideas for advocacy, and policy guidelines that inform your analysis and support work on the school finance system in your state.


Arkansas Increases School Funding and Addresses Transportation

In an arrangement with Governor Mike Beebe, the Arkansas legislature increased across-the-board funding for school, while Beebe set aside money for a special fund for districts with high transportation costs.


Arizona Taxpayers Barred from Challenging Tuition Tax Credit Program

The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed tax credits to be used for private religious schools in Arizona by denying taxpayers the right to challenge the program in Court.


Rhode Island Lawsuit Will Be Resumed

School districts that had agreed to put their school finance lawsuit on hold have filed an amended complaint after funding levels for schools failed to meet recommended levels.


Total Number of Regular Public Schools, 2009–10 School Year

There are more rural schools in the U.S. than there are urban, suburban, or small town schools.
Date: April 27, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, School Location


Facts and Figures About States With the Lowest Average Salary Expenditures for Instructional Staff in Rural Schools

Question: Which five states have the lowest average salary expenditures for instructional staff in rural schools?
Date: April 26, 2011
Related Categories: Administrator, Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, Teacher Issues


Rural Policy Matters: March 2011

Rural Policy Matters: March 2011The March 2011 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes a story about the North Carolina Rural Education Working Group’s conference that addressed disciplinary policies among other topics; a new series on teacher compensation; coverage of the latest webinar in the Rural Schools Innovations Webinar series; an update on the Formula Fairness Campaign; the latest installment in our series on school finance, this time addressing teacher compensation; Rural School Funding News, and a graph showing the rise in the rates of students participating in free and reduced lunch programs, and more.
Date: March 30, 2011
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Rural North Carolinians Address Important Education Policies

Punitive and unequal disciplinary policies and funding inequities are just two of the public policies that the North Carolina Rural Education Working Group addresses. This month the group held a conference to draw attention to the issues and to their work.


Save the Children Joins Funding Formula Campaign

The national non-profit Save the Children is the newest sponsor to join the Formula Fairness Campaign.


Paying Teachers for Performance:
Issues and Dilemmas for Rural Schools, Part One

Recent calls to change the way most teachers are paid have focused on “pay for performance,” that is, paying teachers according to how well they teach. Pay-for-performance criteria have been included in several federal grant programs, and several states have begun collecting data that could be used to implement these programs. But problems arise in defining and measuring good teaching. These problems get thornier in rural schools, where teachers often wear multiple hats, teach several subjects and grades, and work for salaries that are lower than their counterparts in urban and suburban areas.


Rural School Funding News Special Series: Financing Rural Schools: Characteristics of Strong Rural School Finance Systems

In this series, Rural School Funding News is reviewing general principles of school finance and sharing information about school funding systems that support rural schools and their unique characteristics and needs. While there are no easy answers to questions about how to fund schools, especially in this economic climate, we hope that these articles will provide you promising practices, ideas for advocacy, and guidelines that are easily transferable in your analysis and work on your own school finance systems.


South Carolina Faces Multiple Budget Woes

South Carolina lost its chance to receive federal stimulus funding and is facing nearly a billion dollar shortfall in the state budget.
Date: March 30, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Kansas Lawmakers Propose Constitution Change

A legislative committee in Kansas has proposed giving the legislature sole control over the state’s school finance system.
Date: March 30, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


California Lawsuits Must Have Different Focus

A California judge has ruled that school funding lawsuits may move forward only if they change their focus.
Date: March 30, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Wyoming Backs Off Local Control

The Wyoming legislature passed several measures the will decrease the control local school districts have over spending and teacher evaluations.


Alabama Funding Discrimination Lawsuit Moves Forward

A lawsuit in Alabama claims that several provisions of the state’s constitution, particularly those related to limitations on rural property taxes, are rooted in historic efforts to deny educational opportunity to African Americans. 


Percent Rural Students Eligible for Free or Reduced Meals, 1992-2009

The percentage of students in rural schools who are eligible for free or reduced lunch has been rising steadily for a decade.
Date: March 30, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, Income Related Issues, Poverty


Facts and Figures About States With Highest Percentages of Rural Students Qualifying for Special Education Services

Question: The percentage of rural students who qualify for special education services is highest in which five states?
Date: March 29, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Disabilities, Facts and Figures


Rural Trust Webinar Series Features Rural Innovations: Search Institute: Building Assets-Reducing Risks

The Rural Trust is conducting a series of webinars featuring rural school innovations, including programs that won federal i3 grants and proposed to work in rural communities. The March webinar featured the Search Institute’s BARR program, which builds developmental assets among high school students.


Number Weighting in a One-Page Handout

Ever wish you had a simple tool to help you explain how the Title I formulas work and why they provide a lot less money to low-income children in some school districts than others? Now you have it.


Rural Policy Matters: February 2011

Rural Policy Matters: February 2011The February 2011 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes articles about a new report on school consolidation, an initiative to change Highly Qualified Teacher rules; Discipline rulings that affect schools; Categorical Weighting in school finance formulas; an article by Marty Strange; Rural School Funding News, and more.
Date: February 28, 2011
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


New Report Finds Consolidation More Likely to Yield Harm Than Benefit

A recent wave of research studies suggests that school and district consolidation has already proceeded beyond the point of a favorable cost-benefit ratio and is unlikely to yield fiscal or educational benefits. De-consolidation may be more likely to improve fiscal efficiency and educational services.


Rural Students Deserve Fairness

An article by Rural Trust Policy Director Marty Strange is featured in the March issue of Phi Delta Kappan magazine. Strange will also be interviewed in a free webinar on March 24th. Read more to learn how to access both the article and the webinar.
Date: February 28, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Rural Trust Recommends
Related Tags: Consolidation, School Finance/Funding, School/District Size


Facts and Figures About States With Funding Parity in Rural School Districts

Question: In which ten states do funding levels vary the least between rural districts? In other words, in which states are rural schools most likely to have about the same amount of funding as other rural schools?
Date: February 24, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, School Finance/Funding


Rural Trust Signs Letter On Highly Qualified Teachers

The Rural Trust has joined a number of other organizations in expressing concern that a recent change in the law defining “highly qualified teachers” under No Child Left Behind will make it harder to ensure that students facing the most educational challenges get the best prepared and experienced teachers.
Date: February 24, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, Teacher Issues, Title I


School Discipline: An Occasional Series on Developments in School Disciplinary Policies and Practices

Discipline cases in several states reveal thorny issues about students’ rights regarding search-and-seizure at school.
Date: February 24, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline


Alabama Schools Facing Lawsuit over Use of Pepper Spray

Students sue school over use of pepper spray by law enforcement officers.
Date: February 24, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: African-American students, Discipline


Arizona High Court Refuses to Hold Student Criminally Liable

The Arizona Supreme Court rules that a student should be punished by school discipline procedures rather than by criminal laws.
Date: February 24, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline


Gang Activity Policies Addressed by Courts

Many schools have used alleged gang activity as a reason for suspending or expelling students. But in many cases schools are not clear on what constitutes gang activity. Recently court decisions have found that schools must clarify their gang activity policies.
Date: February 24, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: African-American students, Community Organizing, Discipline


RSFN Special Series
Financing Rural Schools: Characteristics of Strong Rural School Finance Systems

Characteristic Eight: An Accurate Match of Resources to Needs. Making sure that students who have out-of-the-ordinary educational needs or characteristics get the support they need is a critical part of a strong school finance system.
Date: February 24, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, School Finance/Funding, Title I


Mississippi Communities Pushing Hard to Protect School Funding

Efforts of public education supporters to protect school funding are showing signs of success.


Changes to Arkansas Consolidation Law Proposed

Schools on an Arkansas “watch list” may get more time to resolve difficulties before facing mandated consolidation.
Date: February 24, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Iowa Debating Funding Solutions

A plan to shift school funding entirely to the state is breaking out along party lines in Iowa.
Date: February 24, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


School Funding Interpretation Challenged as Arizona Legislators Cut Corporate Taxes

Arizona legislators face a lawsuit after reinterpreting the state’s school funding law, and a recent tax cut will likely further reduce revenues for schools.
Date: February 24, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Average Score for NAEP Science at Grade 4

This graph illustrates, by locale, the average score for National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Science at the Fourth-Grade level for 2009.
Date: February 24, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs


Rural Policy Matters: January 2011

Rural Policy Matters: January 2011The January 2011 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes articles about "Taking Advantage," a Rural Trust report on rural innovation in the i3 program; Rural Trust Policy Director Marty Strange briefs Congress on i3; homelessness counts underway; Formula Fairness Campaign grows; Equity and Adequacy in School Funding; Rural School Funding News, Teacher Salaries in Rural Schools, and more.
Date: January 25, 2011
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Homelessness is a Rural Problem Too

Homelessness may look different in rural places, but rural communities are not immune to the problem. This week marks the window in which states must conduct a semi-annual point-in-time count of homeless individuals. Oftentimes schools may not recognize when a student is homeless, but the school has legal responsibilities to provide specific services.
Date: January 25, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, School Location, Youth


Formula Fairness Campaign Continues to Grow

The number of organizations that are co-sponsoring a national effort to bring fairness to the federal Title I program continues to increase.
Date: January 25, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Policy, Formula Fairness Campaign, Title I


Rural School Funding News Special Series:
Financing Rural Schools: Characteristics of Strong Rural School Finance Systems

Equity and adequacy are school finance terms used so frequently in discussion that they seem almost interchangeable. But they are actually two different, but interdependent and equally important, measures of a state’s school funding system and how well it provides educational resources and opportunity to all students and all schools.


Wyoming Legislation Could Add Strings to Funding

Legislative proposals could add a number of new requirements for districts to the school finance formula.


South Dakota Funding Proposal Worse Than Expected

Schools in South Dakota thought budget cuts would total 5%, but cuts are likely to be much deeper.


Washington Special Education Funding Lawsuit Ends

Court denies districts’ request for more funding for special education; rural districts would be disproportionately affected by proposed budget cuts.


North Carolina Weighing Options

North Carolina facing severe education funding cuts and increases in student homelessness.


California Settles School Fee Lawsuit

California will enforce its law prohibiting schools from charging students “fees” to participate in certain classes and activities.


Funding Crisis Driving Some Rural Oregon Districts to Charters

The funding crisis and other budget cuts are pushing some small rural districts in Oregon to become charter schools.


Average Base Salaries for Public School Teachers, 2008

Rural teacher salaries are lower on average than salaries in urban, suburban, or town settings.
Date: January 25, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: Graphs, School Location, Teacher Issues


Facts and Figures: Comparing Funding Levels for Rural Schools By State

Question: In which ten states do funding levels vary the most between rural districts? In other words, in which states is the gap largest between high-wealth rural districts and low-wealth rural districts?
Date: January 24, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Marty Strange Briefs U.S. Senate on i3, Title I

Rural Trust Policy Director Marty Strange briefed staff in the U.S. Senate on the rural impact of the Investing in Innovation grant program. Strange also presented information on inequities in Title I funding that harm very low-income students in smaller school districts.
Date: January 24, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, What's New
Related Tags: Federal Policy, Investing in Innovation


RT Report: Few i3 "Rural" Grants Generating Rural Innovation

The federal Investing in Innovation (i3) grant program — intended to spark innovative approaches in schools — included a “competitive preference” for projects designed to focus on the unique challenges of high-need students in rural school districts. But a report released this month by the Rural Trust finds that with few exceptions i3 did little to generate innovation specific to rural schools. Instead, the rural preference primarily benefitted urban projects that included a small number of rural schools. The report examines how the rural preference component was applied in projects that won i3 funding and offers thoughts on alternative approaches that might generate rural-specific innovations for high-needs students in rural schools.
Date: January 24, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Policy, Investing in Innovation


Rural Policy Matters: December 2010

Rural Policy Matters: December 2010The December 2010 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes articles about new co-sponsors of the Formula Fairness Campaign, a letter from senators about i3 fairness for rural districts, what makes people form attachments to their communities, the importance of revenue systems to school finance, Rural School Funding News, and more.
Date: December 22, 2010
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Formula Fairness Campaign Gains Three New Sponsors

This month, three new organizations became co-sponsors of the Formula Fairness Campaign. Find out how your organization can join the effort.
Date: December 22, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Education Policy, Federal Policy, Formula Fairness Campaign, Title I


Senators Raise Concerns About Rural Districts in i3

Thirteen U.S. Senators have sent a letter to Secretary Duncan expressing concerns and raising questions about the i3 federal grant process and its impact on rural schools.


Facts and Figures About Instructional Expenditures for Rural Students

Question: In which 11 states do average instructional expenditures fall under $4,500 per rural student?

Date: December 21, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, School Finance/Funding, Teacher Issues


It Is Time for Something More Meaningful Than No "Excuses"

It’s time to address the real challenges that undermine the educational opportunities of many of our nation’s children

Date: December 21, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Education Policy, Federal Policy, Income Related Issues, Title I


Worth Noting

A new report seeks to understand the relationship between the attachment of local residents to their community and economic development in that community

Date: December 21, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Arts & Cultural Heritage, Community Development, Income Related Issues


Rural School Funding News Special Series:
Financing Rural Schools: Characteristics of Strong Rural School Finance Systems

A strong school finance system depends on an equitable and productive tax system

Date: December 21, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Education Policy and Activism, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Consolidation Lawsuit in Arkansas Addresses Funding Issues

A small rural Arkansas district has sued the state in an attempt to increase funding equity and to establish limits on how long students can be forced to ride a bus to school



Wisconsin Funding Plan Unveiled

A new funding plan proposed in Wisconsin would reduce reliance on property taxes and provide protections specifically for rural districts



Montana in Fight Over School Funding Shifts

Revenues are higher in Montana than predicted earlier this year, but the state is still debating how to fund schools



Alabama Faces Serious Budgetary Woes

Alabama schools, which have already sustained a reduction in state funds of 20% over the last four years, may face additional mid-year cuts



South Dakota Districts to be Heard Before State Supreme Court

A school funding lawsuit with a circuitous history will be heard next month in South Dakota



Total Number of English Language Learner (ELL) Students Enrolled in Rural School Districts

This graph illustrates, by year, the number of ELL students enrolled in rural school districts, in a range of school years from 1998–99 to 2008–09.
Date: December 21, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs


Rural Policy Matters: November 2010

Rural Policy Matters: November 2010The November 2010 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes articles about the 2010 Congressional election results; an analysis of how programs awarded “rural preference” points in the Investing in Innovation competitive grant program are proposing to work in rural districts; School Discipline, Rural School Funding News, and more.
Date: November 30, 2010
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Taking Advantage of the Rural Preference in the Investing in Innovation Grant Competition

The so-called “rural preference” in the federal i3 competition did little to attract authentically rural proposals.


Facts and Figures About States Where More Than Ten Percent of Rural Students Are Learning English

Question: There are ten states in which more than 10% of rural students are learning English. What are the states?
Date: November 26, 2010
Related Categories: Administrator, Policy Maker, Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: English Language Learners (ELL), Facts and Figures


The Rural Factor in the New Republican Majority in the U.S. House of Representatives

The rural vote played a big role in changes in Congress. But not in all the ways it’s been portrayed…
Date: November 26, 2010
Related Categories: Administrator, Elected Official/Staff, Policy Maker, Rural Policy Matters, What's New
Related Tags: RT Policy Department


Rural Trust Wishes Harrison Well in New Position

Lynnette Harrison, member of Rural Trust’s Field Services staff, has taken a new position…
Date: November 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Community Organizing, Education Policy and Activism, RT Policy Department


School Discipline: An Occasional Series on Developments in School Disciplinary Policies and Practices

The U. S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case involving a young special education student who was taken from school without notifying his parents or reading his Miranda rights after he was accused of a property crime…
Date: November 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Disabilities, Discipline, Education Policy and Activism


Utah Takes on Revenue Issues to Address Low Spending

Utah spends less per pupil than any other state, but that could change…
Date: November 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Oklahoma Ballot Initiative on School Funding Soundly Defeated

Voters seemed driven by concerns about where money would come from to fund a proposal to raise state per pupil spending to the regional average…
Date: November 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Alaska Ballot Initiative on School Funding Successful

Voters approve a bond initiative that will build several new rural schools…


Arkansas Adequacy Level Set

Arkansas schools will get $60 million more next year…
Date: November 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Florida Class Size Limits Will Remain in Place

A constitutional provision that places absolute caps on class sizes survives in Florida…
Date: November 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Class Size, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Ohio Funding Formula Remains Controversial After Election

School funding was a hot topic in Ohio’s gubernatorial campaign and it is still hot as the state readies itself for its Race to the Top award…


Kansas Lawsuit Filed

A coalition of school districts has filed a school funding lawsuit in Kansas…
Date: November 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Proposed California Funding System Fixes Are a Mixed Bag for Rural Schools

A California policy institute has outlined guidelines for reforming California's complex school funding system. but some of the proposals would likely harm many rural schools…
Date: November 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


2009 NAEP Performance on Grade 12 Reading and Mathematics, by Locale

This graph illustrates, by locale, 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress Performance on Grade 12 Reading and Mathematics.
Date: November 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, School Location


Rural Policy Matters: October 2010

Rural Policy Matters: October 2010The October 2010 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes articles about how the Investing in Innovation (i3) competitive grant program is doing little to reach high-poverty rural schools; why poverty rates for young children are significantly higher in rural areas than in central cities — and that rural black children face poverty rates approaching 50%; School Discipline, Consolidation Watch, Rural School Funding News, and more.
Date: October 27, 2010
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Child Poverty Highest Among Rural African-Americans and Rural Single Mothers

A brief from the Carsey Institute finds that poverty rates for young children are significantly higher in rural areas than in central cities and that rural black children face poverty rates approaching 50%.
Date: October 27, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: African-American students, Income Related Issues, School Location


School Discipline: An Occasional Series on Developments in School Disciplinary Policies and Practices

A North Carolina court requires schools to given families and students more information about discipline decisions.
Date: October 27, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline


Mississippi Working on Discipline

Fewer suspensions and expulsions in Mississippi as a result of policy changes.
Date: October 27, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline


Consolidation Watch: State Policies on an Important Rural Issue

Consolidation news from Michigan and Vermont.
Date: October 27, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, School Finance/Funding


RSFN Special Series:
Financing Rural Schools: Characteristics of Strong Rural School Finance Systems

Achieving a balanced and equitable share of local, state, and federal funds can be tricky.
Date: October 27, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding, School/District Size


Kansas Political Buzz All About School Finance

Political posturing around school funding in Kansas.
Date: October 27, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Florida Voters Will Weigh in on Class Size Limits

The Florida Education Association’s attempt to stop a ballot initiative related to class size caps ends in court.
Date: October 27, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Class Size, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Texas Preparing for Funding Challenge

Texas legislators and school board members exploring options for changing funding system.
Date: October 27, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Arizona School Funding Lawsuit Ends

A funding lawsuit will start over in trial court after the state Supreme Court refused to hear it.
Date: October 27, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


A New School Finance Report Ranks State Funding Systems

A new report ranks the fairness of school funding formulas.
Date: October 27, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Do Court Cases Matter?

An article responds to an influential book on school finance litigation.
Date: October 27, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Percent Schools Reporting Discipline Policies That Allow Long-Term Suspensions Without Continuing School Services, 2005-06 School Year

This graph illustrates, by locale, school discipline polices regarding long-term suspensions.
Date: October 27, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline, Graphs


Facts and Figures About States with the Highest Percentage of Small Rural Districts

Question: Which eight states have the highest percentage of small rural districts?
Date: October 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, Small Schools/School Size


i3 Awards Don't Reach Many High-Needs Rural Districts

The federal Investing in Innovation (i3) competitive grant program has laudable objectives, but it is doing little to reach high-poverty rural schools.


Rural Trust's Doris Williams Authors National Report on Community Schools

A new report by Rural Trust Executive Director, Doris Williams, addresses the potential of “community schools” to respond to persistent challenges in low-wealth rural schools and communities.


Rural Policy Matters: September 2010

Rural Policy Matters: September 2010The September 2010 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes articles about a small community trying to find ways for local residents to reconnect to their own cultural inheritance and to each other in the face of economic hardship, a monolithic corporate presence, disaster, and international energy demands; why high-poverty rural districts won’t see much of the $4 billion in Race to the Top grants to states; why the mid-term elections are an important time to tell both incumbents and challengers that Title I funding needs to be fixed; and more


Community Center Seeks to Re-Knit Divided Community

A small community pressured by economic hardship, a monolithic corporate presence, disaster, and international energy demands tries to find ways for local residents to reconnect to their own cultural inheritance and to each other.


Consolidation Watch: State Policies on an Important Rural Issue

Several states are addressing consolidation — but not all are promoting it.


High-Poverty Rural Districts Largely Left Out of Race to the Top

High-poverty rural districts won’t see much of the $4 billion in Race to the Top grants to states.


Title I: Contact Your Representative — And Your Candidates

The mid-term elections are an important time to tell both incumbents and challengers that Title I funding needs to be fixed....


Small Arkansas Town Focus of Secretary Visit

The small town of Hamburg, Arkansas made the news earlier this month when Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Deputy Secretary John White visited Hamburg schools as part of an eight-state tour. The visit highlighted two programs at the diverse 2,100-student district in southeast Arkansas....


Fate of Secure Rural Schools Act Unclear

A source of funding for rural schools located in National Forest counties is caught up in the fight over the federal budget....


South Dakota Candidates Speak Out Against Consolidation

Candidates for governor of South Dakota have spoken out against a state law that forces small districts to consolidate....
Date: September 28, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, School/District Size, Small Schools/School Size


Texas Proposal Rewards District Cost-Sharing

Texas districts could receive a portion of their savings if they agree to share services....
Date: September 28, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, School Finance/Funding, School/District Size


Iowa Losing Rural School Districts

In the face of budget cuts and financial pressures, more rural Iowa districts are consolidating....


Calls for Consolidation in Michigan Reveal Many Issues

Calls to consolidate school districts in Michigan are raising all kinds of complicated issues and highlighting exaggerations, over-simplifications, and ideological motivations....
Date: September 28, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, School Finance/Funding, School/District Size


School Discipline: An Occasional Series on Developments in School Disciplinary Policies and Practices

New rules in Iowa limit the use of physical restraints and seclusion for students with disabilities. But some violations have surfaced....


Middle School Suspension Report

A new report looks at the impact of suspending students from school in the middle grades. The report finds that suspension has a number of negative effects on students, is not shown to improve school climate, and is used much more frequently on some student groups than others....


Nevada Considers New Formula

The largest district in Nevada is pushing for a rewrite of the state’s 1967-era school funding formula....
Date: September 28, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


South Carolina System Subject of Gubernatorial Campaign

South Carolina's method of funding K–12 education is a campaign issue in the Governor’s race, again....
Date: September 28, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Arkansas Panel Waits to Make Budget Recommendation

Arkansas panel won't say yet how much money is needed for schools....
Date: September 28, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


West Virginia Governor Calls for Review of State Education Spending

After he failed to get legislation passed to enable West Virginia to compete for federal Race to the Top funds, Governor Joe Manchin has appointed a task force to review state education spending....


Arizona ELL Case Back in Court

Arizona’s long-running English Language Learning case is back in court this month....


Georgia Charter Law Under Fire

Local districts in Georgia are suing the state over charter school authorization....
Date: September 28, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Florida Funding Lawsuit Moves Forward

A school funding lawsuit in Florida will move forward, and a judge rules against a challenge to an initiative that could ease strict class size limits....
Date: September 28, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Class Size, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Class Action California Lawsuit Challenges School Fees

A class action lawsuit challenges whether school districts can charge students a variety of fees for basic school services....


Number of Charter Schools by Locale, 2003–04 to 2006–07

The number of charter schools in all locales is on the increase....
Date: September 28, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Education Policy, Graphs, School Location


Fact and Figures About States With the Highest Mobility Rates Among Rural Households

Question: Which nine states have the highest rates of mobility among rural households?
Date: September 28, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Rural Policy Matters: August 2010

Rural Policy Matters: August 2010The August 2010 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes articles about a school-wide comprehensive literacy program that's making a difference in a rural school district; number weighting in Title I funding hurts rural districts headed by African-American superintendents; a coalition of civil rights organizations has issued a compelling document outlining new federal strategies to ensure that all students have substantive and fair opportunities to learn; Rural School Funding News, and more…
Date: August 26, 2010
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Districts Headed by African-American Superintendents Lose Funding to Number-Weighting

An analysis of the effects of the “number weighting” provisions of the federal Title I program shows that high-poverty rural districts that are headed by African-American superintendents collectively lost more than $8 million in Title I funding in 2009. These superintendents make up more than a quarter of all African-American superintendents in the U.S. Their districts are losing federal funding to larger, lower-poverty suburban districts...
Date: August 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: African-American students, Formula Fairness Campaign, Title I


Take Advantage of Congressional Break to Contact Representatives

The federal Title I formulas send more funding for poor students to large low-poverty suburban districts than to smaller, higher-poverty rural districts. That’s not right and Congress needs to hear that the formulas should be fixed.


Coalition Releases Document Calling for "Opportunity to Learn" for all Students

A coalition of civil rights organizations has issued a compelling document outlining new federal strategies to ensure that all students have substantive and fair opportunities to learn. The document’s critique of competitive mechanisms for distributing federal funding and use of unproven school turnaround strategies that harm students and communities is powerful. Equally important are the strategies it outlines to strengthen communities, engage parents in schools in meaningful way, and make states accountable for providing equitable resources and opportunities for all students. Such strategies would take federal policy in new directions to address the challenges and gross inequities facing low-income students and communities…


Education Week Launches Rural Blog

One of the nation’s most widely-read education news outlets recently launched a blog devoted to rural education issues. We’re glad to see this attention to rural schools…
Date: August 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: School Location, Small Schools/School Size


School Discipline: An Occasional Series on Developments in School Disciplinary Policies and Practices

Special education students in Texas are much more likely to receive exclusionary discipline at school…


Congressional Action on Corporal Punishment in Schools

A bill in the U.S. Congress would end corporal punishment in American schools…


North Carolina District Takes Steps to End Zero Tolerance

North Carolina district backs away from controversial discipline policy…


RSFN Special Series:
Financing Rural Schools: Characteristics of Strong Rural School Finance Systems

Part IV in the Rural School Funding News (RSFN) special series, "Financing Rural Schools," looks at provisions for small school and/or district size.


Wyoming Debates Funding Accountability

Lawmakers in Wyoming are considering changes to the state funding formula that could reduce spending flexibility for some school districts…


Class Size Caps Are Subject of Ballot, Lawsuits in Florida

An amendment placing strict caps on class sizes in Florida could be altered in court or at the ballot box this fall…
Date: August 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Accountability, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Ohio Governor Faces Criticism Over Education Claims

Governor Ted Strickland’s claims about education funding in Ohio are under scrutiny…
Date: August 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Accountability, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Kansas Responds to Threat of Lawsuit

The possibility of a school funding lawsuit in Kansas has many lawmakers expressing support for meeting current constitutional requirements…
Date: August 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Accountability, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Teacher Mobility by School Locale, 2008-09

Teacher Retention and Attrition by School Locale…
Date: August 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, School Location, Teacher Issues


Facts and Figures About States With the Highest Percentage of Schools in Rural Communities

Question: Which state has the highest percentage of schools located in rural communities?
Date: August 25, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Rural District's Successful Literacy Program Making a Big Difference

In Mena, Arkansas, students are reading. A lot. Test scores are up significantly. Title I funding makes the district’s comprehensive literacy program possible. But programs like this one could be in jeopardy.
Date: August 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, School Finance/Funding, Teacher Issues, Title I


Rural Policy Matters: July 2010

Rural Policy Matters: July 2010The July 2010 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes articles on a West Virginia community that has fought for decades to keep its K-12 schools; rural education advocacy groups that are working to bring fairness to Title I funding formulas; how some low-income rural schools are making good use of a federal formula grant; and more.
Date: July 24, 2010
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Arkansas Groups Gear Up for Action on Formula Fairness Campaign

Two rural education advocacy groups held leadership gatherings in Arkansas this month. Both included a focus on bringing fairness to the Title I funding formulas.


Formula Grant Successful in Rural Schools, Flexibility Key

A recent report for the U.S. Department of Education finds that low-income rural schools made good use of a federal formula grant. The findings are important in the debate over whether federal grants should be awarded primarily on a competitive or formula basis.


School Discipline: An Occasional Series on Developments in School Disciplinary Policies and Practices

Two new reports document in detail the overuse of exclusionary discipline (suspension and expulsion) in schools and the resulting increase in students who ultimately end up in the juvenile justice or adult criminal justice system. Nationally, advocates are working to stop this “schoolhouse to jailhouse pipeline” by changing policies and laws to protect students’ right to an education and to ensure that they remain in school.


Facts and Figures About States That Have More Than Half Their Schools in Rural Communities

Question: In which 15 states are more than 50% of schools located in rural communities?
Date: July 23, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


West Virginia Community Story Tells Much About School Consolidation

The community of Meadow Bridge, West Virginia has fought for decades to keep their K–12 schools. Their story reveals many of the circumstances and events that rural communities address as they work to make their schools and communities strong.


Delaware Raises Minimum Reporting Age

Delaware requires schools to report to law enforcement certain student behaviors. But a new law gives schools more reporting leeway for children nine to eleven years old.


Connecticut Reduces Suspension Rate

Publicity along with a new law limiting when students can be put out of school is credited with reducing the state’s high suspension rate.


Georgia Restricts Disciplinary Restraints

Georgia’s state school board has banned schools from using certain kinds of physical restraints as disciplinary measures.


RSFN Special Series:
Financing Rural Schools: Characteristics of Strong Rural School Finance Systems

Part III in the Rural School Funding News (RSFN) special series, “Financing Rural Schools,” looks at provisions for geographic differences and cost-of-living factors.


Second California Lawsuit

Second funding lawsuit filed in California brings increased pressure to fix the system.


Arkansas Lawsuit Makes Agricultural Claims

A lawsuit challenging the consolidation of a rural district makes unusual claims.


Indiana Says No More Bus Fees

Indiana Attorney General Says No to Bus Fees.


Wisconsin Schools Stand to Gain in New Funding Formula Proposal

Wisconsin’s chief school officer introduces a new school funding formula.
Date: July 23, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Montana Considers Draconian Cuts

Schools in Montana could see very serious cuts in funding, despite a 2004 court ruling.
Date: July 23, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


New Louisiana Law Offers Freedom From Many School Regulations

A new law in Louisiana could undermine many other laws and policies related to education, including student support and student-teacher ratios.


Washington Lawsuit Moves Forward

A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of special education funding moves forward in Washington.
Date: July 23, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Disabilities, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Oklahoma Ballot Initiative Faces Opposition

A bill to increase spending on Oklahoma schools faces varied opposition in the state, in part, because the measure would peg spending to that of neighboring states.


Principal Mobility by School Locale, 2008-09

Rural and small town principals are more likely to leave and less likely to stay in their schools than are suburban and city principals.
Date: July 23, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, School Location, Teacher Issues


Rural Policy Matters: June 2010

Rural Policy Matters: June 2010The June 2010 edition of RPM includes articles sharing how you can grow your grassroots advocacy efforts; options for fixing inequities in the Title I formulas; the challenge of competitive grants for rural schools; consolidation threats in several states; characteristics of strong school finance systems; Rural School Finance News, and more…
Date: June 28, 2010
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Rural Trust to Examine Effectiveness of Competitive Grants for Rural Schools

Competitive grants are an increasingly important part of federal funding for schools. But will they reach the highest-poverty rural schools or enhance equal educational opportunity.


Expanding Your Borders, or: How to Grow Your Organization's Membership

Anyone looking to accomplish something knows they need allies. Here’s how one grassroots group reached out to find people who share their values and their mission
Date: June 28, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Community Organizing


Facts and Figures About States With the Highest Average Teacher Salaries in Rural Districts

Question: Which five states have the highest salary expenditures for instructional staff members in rural districts (essentially the highest average teacher salaries)?
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Growing Your Membership: In a Nutshell

The RPM summary of how to create a successful membership drive.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Community Organizing


Options for Fixing Title I Inequity: Tying Allocations to Average Local Salaries Makes Matters Worse

The Formula Fairness Campaign is exploring options for ways to fix the Title I formulas. One option is to use a figure calculated by the National Center for Education Statistics to determine how much college-educated non-teachers make in local labor markets around the country. This figure could be used to estimate the cost of providing an education in each school district. But this method would make things worse for most rural districts.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, What's New
Related Tags: Formula Fairness Campaign, School Finance/Funding, Title I


Vermont Promotes District Consolidation

Vermont’s system of very local control of schools is under threat from new legislation.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, School/District Size


South Carolina Report Examines School Governance Structures

School districts in South Carolina are controlled largely by legislative delegations, with some unusual implications.


Arkansas Cases Challenge School and District Consolidation

A rural school and a rural school district have each lost court cases challenging their consolidation, but there may be a glimmer of hope in the rulings.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Community Organizing, Consolidation, School Location


Mississippi Commission Will Issue Consolidation Report

A Commission formed to recommends school districts for consolidation will issue its report soon.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation


RSFN Special Series:
Financing Rural Schools: Characteristics of Strong Rural School Finance Systems

Part II in an ongoing series of articles about what makes a school funding system work for rural schools.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Community Organizing, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Rhode Island Gets School Funding Formula

The last state in the nation without a school finance formula finally gets one.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


School Funding Lawsuit Filed in Arizona

A group of plaintiffs have filed a lawsuit charging Arizona with failing to follow its funding law.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


School Districts Intend to Sue Kansas

Cuts to education spur a new school funding lawsuit in Kansas.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Pennsylvania Districts Making Big Cuts

School districts in Pennsylvania are making big cuts to their budgets, according to a new survey.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Colorado Makes Demands on Districts Involved in Lawsuit

Colorado is demanding extensive — and expensive — records from school districts in the state.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


California Lawsuit Challenges School Funding System

A lawsuit filed in California could force changes to the state’s funding system, and its influential Proposition 13 amendment that drastically altered the way California collects revenue.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Wyoming Recalibrating its Funding Formula

Wyoming, whose school funding system is one of the most responsive to the needs of small rural schools, is recalibrating its funding formula.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News


NCLB Lawsuit Remains Dismissed

The lawsuit challenging the legality of No Child Left Behind has ended.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News


Total Current Expenditures per Pupil in 2007-08, by Locale and Poverty Level

High poverty rural and small-town schools spend less to educate students than low poverty rural and small-town schools.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, School Location, Teacher Issues


The RPM-PX Take on a Report Exploring Practices in Successful "Turnaround" Schools

There is no single solution to improving persistently low-performing schools; instead improvement takes a variety of supports and strategies and will work differently in the unique circumstances of individual schools.


Rural Policy Matters: May 2010

Rural Policy Matters: May 2010The May 2010 edition of RPM includes articles about how several small Arkansas communities have made remarkable progress in their efforts at revitalization through a partnership with the Rural Community Alliance; a rural perspective on an important case in which Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan was involved; a call for transparency in Mississippi; and more…
Date: May 27, 2010
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Arkansas Community Revitalization Efforts Share Great Approaches

Five rural Arkansas communities are partnering with the Rural Community Alliance on community revitalization initiatives to strengthen their communities, grow their economies, and support educational opportunity. What they are doing and learning has much to offer other rural communities dealing with declining enrollment and the erosion of jobs and economic opportunity…


No Small Matter: Kagan, Stevens, Marshall and a Rural Child Named Kadrmas

President Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court has brought to light an important disagreement she had with Justice Thurgood Marshall, the great civil rights icon for whom she clerked. It happens that the disagreement involved the educational rights of a poor rural student...
Date: May 27, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Education Policy and Activism, Income Related Issues, School Location


State Spending Averages Skew Title I Allocations to Poor Districts

Districts in richer states that support education get a lot more federal money to improve the education of very low-income students than districts in poor states that provide less funding for schools...


High-Poverty, Low Graduation Rates in the Rural South

A new study by the Rural Trust finds that high-poverty levels correlates with low graduation rates in the rural South and that these districts are more racially diverse than other districts.


Citizens Call for Transparency in Mississippi Consolidation Recommendations

The Governor’s Commission on Mississippi Education Structure is likely to recommend dissolving 18 small rural school districts. Citizens are asking for the data analysis that was used to identify the districts.


Rural School Funding News: May 2010

Rural School Funding News is on maternity leave.
Date: May 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News


Average Salary for Teachers in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools, 2007-08

Teachers in rural and small town schools earn less than teachers in other public schools.
Date: May 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, School Location, Teacher Issues


The RPM Take on a Report Evaluating the Comprehensive School Reform Program

A report evaluating the implementation and outcomes of the federal Comprehensive School Reform program (CSR) from 2002 to 2008 finds that most schools receiving CSR funds did not implement all the program requirements, nor did they make more achievement growth than comparison schools. Although it would seem that extra financial support did not produce desired outcomes, a closer read of the report finds that most schools faced a number impediments to implementation and that addressing these impediments might go a long way toward helping high-poverty low-performing schools achieve at higher levels.
 


Facts and Figures About States With the Lowest Average Teacher Salaries in Rural Districts

Question: Which five states have the lowest salary expenditures for instructional staff members in rural districts (essentially the lowest average teacher salaries)?
Date: May 25, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Children's Defense Fund Calls for Overhaul of Title I Funding

In a pointed letter to Congressional leadership, the Children’s Defense Fund makes the case for fixing the Title I funding formulas and changing other aspects of the federal education law…


Two Analyses of Mississippi Achievement Data Produce Significant Findings for Policymakers

Two recent Rural Trust analyses, conducted in partnership with Southern Echo, find that the negative effects of poverty on student test scores is reduced in small school districts and that districts ranked highly in the state’s accountability system are no better at closing achievement gaps that lower rated districts…
Date: April 30, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Achievement Gap, African-American students, Disabilities, Income Related Issues


RSFN Special Series:
Financing Rural Schools: Characteristics of Strong Rural School Finance Systems

Over the coming months, Rural School Funding News (RSFN) will feature a series of articles that review general principles of school finance and share information about school funding systems that support rural schools and address their unique characteristics and needs. While there are no easy answers to questions about how to fund schools, especially in this economic climate, this series is intended to share promising practices, ideas for advocacy, and guidelines that are easily transferable in your analysis and work on your own school finance systems.

Date: April 30, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News


Rural Policy Matters: April 2010

Rural Policy Matters: April 2010The April 2010 edition of RPM includes a story on how the Children’s Defense Fund is making the case for fixing the Title I funding formulas; how two recent Rural Trust analyses find that the negative effects of poverty on student test scores is reduced in Mississippi's small school districts and that districts ranking highly in the state’s accountability system are no better at closing achievement gaps that lower rated districts; and Financing Rural Schools, a new series that looks at what it takes to have a good system for making sure rural schools get the resources they need; and more ...
Date: April 29, 2010
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Facts and Figures About Which States Have the Most Rural Students Qualifying for Reduced-Price School Meals

Question: In which nine states do more than 50% of rural students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals?
Date: April 29, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, Income Related Issues, Poverty


Formula Fairness Campaign Update

Check out new developments in the Formula Fairness Campaign…
Date: April 29, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Formula Fairness Campaign, Title I


Save Alabama's Small Schools Hosts Statewide Meeting

SASS conference draws attention for important issues…
Date: April 29, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Community Organizing, Education Policy and Activism


Connecticut High Court Rules in School Finance Case

A long-awaited decision in Connecticut affirms the right to an adequate education in that state; the decision also establishes a role for the courts in school funding matters
Date: April 29, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News


Illinois' Economy Spurs Actions on Education Funding

A new lawsuit in Illinois claims that the current method of funding schools discriminated against taxpayers in property poor school districts…
Date: April 29, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News


Alaska Judge Demands Action for Rural Schools

The court may appoint a special master to address the needs of low-performing rural schools if the state does not quickly develop a plan for meeting needs in those schools…
Date: April 29, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News


Percent Distribution of Students Within Public and Private School Types

This graph illustrates the percentage distribution of students within public and private school types, as ranked by locales: rural, town, suburb, and city.
Date: April 29, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs


Stopping Bullying: Effective Approaches

High-profile cases of school bullying have made their way into the media recently. What have we learned about what reduces child and adolescent bullying and why does it matter? A new paper looks at the research…
Date: April 29, 2010
Related Categories: RSIN Premium Content, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: RPM Premium Exclusive


Rural Policy Matters: March 2010

Rural Policy Matters: March 2010This edition of RPM includes an update on the Formula Fairness Campaign; an RPM analysis of the Blueprint for Reform; a comparison of Title I funding in Chicago and elsewhere; Rural School Funding News; and more…
Date: March 27, 2010
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Formula Fairness Campaign Gaining Momentum

The unfairness of “Number Weighting,” which shifts Title I funding for poor students from poorer school districts to larger less poor districts, is gaining attention…


Quick and Dirty: The RPM Take on A Blueprint for Reform

The Obama administration has issued its goals for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. We share what we think…


Facts and Figures About States With High Percentages of Minority Students in Rural Schools

QUESTION: In which 16 states do minority students make up more than 25% of rural enrollment?

Date: March 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, Minority Students


Consolidation Fightback Toolkit Now Available

The Rural Trust has updated its Consolidation FightBack Toolkit. Check it out...
Date: March 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, School/District Size, Small Schools/School Size


The Charmed Prince of Good Deals

The following article was recently posted to the Formula Fairness Campaign's blog. RPM will print selected Campaign blog posts. To learn more about the campaign to bring fairness in federal funding for low-income rural students, visit the website, where you can join the campaign and sign a national petition.


Petition to Eliminate Unfair Treatment of Small and Rural Districts in Title I Funding

Sign the petition to bringing fairness to the Title I funding formula…


RPM's Take on the Data Provisions of Blueprint for Reform

Student test score data is the core of Blueprint. Test scores would be used to rate teacher effectiveness and reward or reconstitute schools. And, more student and teacher data would be collected and published…


RPM's Take on the Teacher and Principal Provisions of Blueprint for Reform

Blueprint requires states to rate teachers and principals according to the test scores of their students, a provision RPM thinks will drive teachers away from the schools where they may be most needed…
Date: March 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: Education Policy and Activism, No Child Left Behind, Teacher Issues, Title I


RPM's Take on the Reward/Challenge Provisions of Blueprint for Reform

Blueprint puts in place new rating categories, Reward and Challenge, for schools, districts, and states...


RPM's Take on the English Language Learner (ELL) Provisions of Blueprint for Reform

Blueprint keeps formula grants in place for ELL programs and requires states to put in grade level proficiency standards…


RPM's Take on Rural Language in Blueprint for Reform

Blueprint includes language about rural schools, but little of it will actually make much positive difference…


Rhode Island Funding Formula Proposed

After 15 years Rhode Island may get a formula for funding schools…
Date: March 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Consolidation Plans Being Pushed in Kansas

Several bills that would require or incentivize district consolidation are under consideration in Kansas…


Colorado School Funding Lawsuit Moving Ahead

After a court reversal, plaintiffs are joining in a school funding lawsuit…


South Dakota Funding Fight Update

Funding getting worse and lawsuit is moving forward in South Dakota…
Date: March 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Wisconsin Rural Schools Banking on Local Voters

Funding shortfalls are forcing many rural school districts to seek voter approvals to override levy caps…
Date: March 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Washington Districts Will Look Locally to Meet Funding Gap

Shortfalls in education funding in Washington have led legislators to lift levy caps in the state…
Date: March 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Zero Tolerance Reform Bill Advances in Georgia

A bill to give schools more authority over student punishments is moving through the Georgia legislature…
Date: March 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline, Rural School Funding News


Restraint and Seclusion Bill Passes U.S. House

The U.S. Congress is responding to the widespread use of restraint and seclusion in American schools…
Date: March 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Disabilities, Discipline, Rural School Funding News


Mississippi Department of Education, Percent Student Poverty Rate (2006) and School District Accountability Status (2009-2010)

Student achievement is highly correlated with poverty, and poorer school districts are more likely to be sanctioned in state accountability systems. This map illustrates this pattern in the state of Mississippi…
Date: March 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, Income Related Issues, Poverty


Indian Education Policies in Five States

American Indian and Native Alaskan students make up a significant proportion of total students in some states and in those states they tend to be disproportionately enrolled in schools located in rural areas. Federal and state responses to the educational needs of Indian students have historically ranged from the disastrous to the indifferent or ineffective. Largely in response to efforts of Indian communities and activists some states have begun to enact policies and implement approaches that are more positively geared to Indian students.

A recent report from the Northwest Regional Education Laboratory identified 13 Indian education policies in five northwest region states. These policies provide some insight into ways schools and districts can do a better of job of teaching American Indian students and a better job of teaching non-Native students about American Indian history, culture, and language.

Date: March 26, 2010
Related Categories: RSIN Premium Content, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Indigenous People


Meet the April 1st i3 "Intent to Apply" Deadline!

April 1, 2010 is the deadline to send an email stating your intent to apply for an i3 grant...
Date: March 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Investing in Innovation, School Finance/Funding


The RPM Run-Down of Formula and Competitive Grants Proposed in Blueprint

Blueprint suggests a number of programs that will be available to schools through grants. RPM has categorized those programs based on whether Blueprint identifies the program as available on a formula or competitive basis...


Rural Policy Matters: February 2010

Rural Policy Matters: January 2010 This edition of RPM includes a story on how one rural North Carolina county is using its federal Title I funding to bring technology equity to its students — and local residents; Rural Trust launches a campaign for fairness in Title I funding; Title I funding issues gain attention; state advocates address a variety of issues affecting rural schools; Rural School Funding News; and more.
Date: February 26, 2010
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


New Use of Federal Education Money Brings Broadband to Rural North Carolina County

A rural county in North Carolina uses federal Title I funding to bring state of the art technology to the homes of all its students. That the program also helps the entire county gain high-speed Internet access — and the economic opportunities that come with it — is all part of the strategy for making sure than low-income rural students and their communities get the resources that will really make a difference.
Date: February 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Community Development, Technology, Title I


A Rural Trust Guide to Title I Formulas

The federal Title I program, which is intended to help schools address the educational challenges of the most disadvantaged students, provides more funding for some low-income students than for others. This guide explains what Title I does, how its formulas work, and why the program matters for rural districts and students — all in plain language.
Date: February 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, School/District Size, Title I


Date: February 25, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Rural Trust Launches Title I Formula Fairness Campaign

The Rural Trust is organizing to eliminate unfair and discriminatory treatment of small and rural districts in the formula for distributing funds to local school districts under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Learn more about the Campaign and how you can get involved.
Date: February 25, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Rural Trust Recommends
Related Tags: RT Policy Department, School/District Size, Title I


National Reports Spotlight Title I Formula Inequities

The fact that Title I provides more federal money for some low-income students than for others is coming under increasing scrutiny. Two recent reports spotlight the problem…

Date: February 25, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, School/District Size, Title I


Rural Education Advocacy Group Speaks Out on Charters

A group of Alabama citizens that advocates for policies that bring equitable opportunity for rural students and the small and rural schools they attend has taken a stand as the state considers adopting a charter school law… 
Date: February 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Civic Engagement, Education Policy and Activism, Race to the Top


Arkansas State Board Denies Innovative Consolidation Approach

Two small high-achieving districts proposed an innovative approach to meeting the state’s minimum enrollment law, but the state school board wasn’t interested…
Date: February 25, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, Education Policy and Activism, School/District Size


Big Congrats to Arkansas's Rural Community Alliance

The Rural Community Alliance continues to engage more rural residents in its important work…
Date: February 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Community Organizing, Education Policy and Activism


Mississippi Corporal Punishment Lawsuit

A federal lawsuit seeks a ban on corporal punishment in Mississippi…
Date: February 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline, Teacher Issues, Youth


Washington Plaintiffs Victorious in School Funding Lawsuit

A Washington State judge finds funding levels unconstitutional and cites over-reliance on local property levies as a problem…
Date: February 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Kansas Plaintiff Districts Will Begin a New Lawsuit

Kansas districts will not be able to re-open an earlier school funding case and will file a new lawsuit instead…


Ohio Districts Targeted for Consolidation by Report

A national think-tank has co-authored a report recommending closing at least 200 districts in Ohio…


Rhode Island Lawsuit Filed

A Rhode Island lawsuit may force the state to adopt a school finance formula…
Date: February 25, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Alaska Rural School Facilities Receiving Attention by Policymakers

Rural schools in remote regions of Alaska may finally see some resolution to their facilities needs, ten years into a facilities funding case…
Date: February 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Consolidation Proposals in Vermont

A variety of proposals in Vermont are pushing dramatic reductions in the number of school districts in the state…


Percentage of Public and Private School Teachers Whose Teaching Was Affected By Student Misbehavior

This graph shows the percentage of public and private school teachers who agreed or strongly agreed that student misbehavior interfered with their teaching.
Date: February 25, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline, Graphs, School Location


Some Surprising Aspects of Successful Turnaround Schools

A relatively few schools in the U.S. that have been identified for “re-structuring” under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) have made significant enough improvements to exit the designation. A report from the Center on Innovation and Improvement looks at five schools that were successful and explores some of the changes those schools made. Although the report focuses on standard turnaround approaches, many of which are prescribed in NCLB, a closer read reveals that most of the schools also made important structural changes, changes that many schools would find beneficial to maintaining, improving, and sustaining student achievement and teacher satisfaction…

Date: February 25, 2010
Related Categories: RSIN Premium Content, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: No Child Left Behind


Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarships

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program supports hundreds of high-achieving students with financial need across the United States...


Rural Policy Matters: January 2010

Rural Policy Matters: January 2010
This edition of RPM includes a set of stories related to school consolidation initiatives and state responses: a West Virginia legislative study ties higher dropout rates to large districts and schools; Mississippi’s governor wants to eliminate many districts without examining research evidence; and two rural Arkansas districts are seeking an innovative response to that state’s minimum enrollment law. There’s important analysis of the devastating effects on high poverty districts of changes to the Title I formula; South Carolina ramps up efforts to recruit teachers; Rural Trust loses a good friend; Rural School Funding News; and more…


Title I Formula Reverses Robin Hood

The biggest victims of “number weighting” in the distribution of Title I funds are high poverty small cities. Title I funds are intended to provide additional federal support to school districts to help meet the needs of students with extra learning challenges, especially challenges related to poverty. But a change to the formula — the number weighting provision — means that many large districts with low rates of student poverty are getting a lot more Title I funding per student that smaller districts with high rates of student poverty…
Date: January 29, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, What's New
Related Tags: No Child Left Behind, School Finance/Funding, Title I


West Virginia Legislative Audit: Big Schools Push Students Out

A legislative analysis finds that school and district size are the most predictive factors in whether students graduation from high school...
Date: January 29, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graduation Rate/Dropout, School/District Size


Fact and Figures About English Language Learners and Rural Students

Question: In nine states, more than 10% of rural students are English Language Learners. What are the nine states?
Date: January 28, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: English Language Learners (ELL), Facts and Figures


Commission Formed to Recommend Consolidation in Mississippi

A Commission formed to recommend — rather than study — consolidation of Mississippi school districts must deliver a report later this spring…
Date: January 28, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, School/District Size, State Policy


A Long Distance Relationship is Proposed Between Weiner and Delight:
Why they want it and how they got there

Renee Carr, Executive Director of Arkansas’s Rural Community Alliance, describes how — and why — two schools districts are seeking an innovative solution to the state’s minimum enrollment law…
Date: January 28, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, School/District Size, State Policy


A Great Leader and Friend Passes Away

Rural education loses a good friend…
Date: January 28, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Article, Rural Education Working Group (REWG)


Rural Education Featured in Work of Civil Rights Award Winner

The creator of documentary film about rural education in South Carolina wins civil rights award…
Date: January 28, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, School Finance/Funding, State Policy


South Carolina Begins Addressing Expected Teacher Shortage

Many states are facing what is expected to be a major shortage of teachers sometime in the next decade. South Carolina is taking steps to attract teachers now…
Date: January 28, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: School-Community Partnerships, Teacher Issues


Harsh School Discipline Practices Challenged

Zero tolerance and other severe discipline practices are being challenges in courts and legislatures…
Date: January 28, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Disabilities, Discipline, Income Related Issues


Kansas Districts Will Go Back to Court

School districts say Kansas is not meeting its constitutional obligation…
Date: January 28, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding, State Policy


Plans for Implementing New Funding System in Ohio

New funding moving ahead in Ohio despite budget challenges…
Date: January 28, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding, State Policy


Percent Public School Districts Offering Distance Learning Opportunities, By Locale and Grade Level

Percentage of districts with distance learning opportunities in elementary and secondary schools, ranked by area type (city, suburb, town, rural).
Date: January 28, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Distance Learning, Graphs


Teaching Performance Assessments: A Discussion of Review of Teaching Performance Assessments for Use in Human Capital Management

The Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation federal grant programs include provisions that push states and districts to measure teacher performance based on the test scores of their students. It remains to be seen how strict these requirements will be and how much they will be tied to other performance issues like pay, promotion, and tenure. It is, however, clear that states and districts will be required to do more around issues of teacher evaluation. This paper examines seven systems for assessing teacher performance…
Date: January 28, 2010
Related Categories: RSIN Premium Content, Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: Race to the Top, RPM Premium Exclusive, Teacher Issues


Rural Policy Matters: December 2009

Rural Policy Matters: December 2009
This edition of RPM includes a Review of Changes to the Race to the Stop Guidelines and now they are likely to affect rural schools; a new analysis of the effects of Title I number weighting that demonstrates how low poverty districts benefit at the expense of high poverty districts; an examination of interpretation of Race to the Top criteria; analysis of graduation rates in rural high poverty rural districts in the southwest and southeast; highlights of state policy developments in Arkansan, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee, Rural School Funding News, and more….


Race to Top Revisions Slightly Better for Rural Schools

New guidelines for Race to the Top applications are slightly better for rural schools…


Fact and Figures About Rural Schools in Non-Rural School Districts

Question: What percentage of students in rural schools attends a school that is in a non-rural district?

Date: December 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Large Very Low Poverty Districts Benefit in Title I Formula at Expense of High Poverty Districts Large and Small

New analysis of the effects of “number-weighting” in the Title I formulas demonstrate that very low poverty large districts are big winners, getting more money per poor student than very high poverty large districts. Smaller very poor districts loseTitle I funding to both high and low poverty large districts - all because of the effects of the formula…


Race to the Top Criteria: The RPM Analysis

RPM provides a brief interpretation of the 19 criteria on which RTTT awards points to state grant proposals…


Here and There Across the Rural U.S.

State and regional education news... 
Date: December 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, School Finance/Funding, Teacher Issues


Nebraska Cuts Likely to Hit Rural Districts Harder

Changes to the state’s funding formula will cause cuts to state education funding to hit Nebraska’s rural districts hard…

 
Date: December 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Adequacy Lawsuit File in Florida

Decreases in state funding and unequal impact on low-income and minority students are the basis of claims against the Sunshine State…


Date: December 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Minority Students, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Map of States With Especially High Numbers of Rural Students

Eleven states have especially high numbers of rural students. Together these students represent much of the rural diversity characteristic of the nation as a whole: areas of extreme poverty, racial/ethnic diversity, a variety of economic bases, and a range of school and district configurations.
Date: December 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs


Rural Low-Graduation Rate Districts Are High-Poverty, High-Minority

High-poverty districts with low graduation rates in the southwestern and southeastern United States tend to enroll high percentages of minority students…

Date: December 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graduation Rate/Dropout, Minority Students, Rural 800/900


Helping Students Prepare for College

Increasing college-going rates, especially among low-income and first-generation students, is widely cited as necessary for improving life prospects of young people and building the nation’s economic future. A September report from the Institute of Education Sciences reviews the research and makes recommendations on how schools can help more students prepare for and enter college. We summarize those recommendations and note adaptations needed for rural schools, especially those that are isolated and/or high-poverty….



Why Rural Matters 2009: An Interview with Co-Author and Researcher Jerry Johnson

RPM interviews Why Rural Matters (WRM) co-author Jerry Johnson about his personal perspectives on the findings in this important report.
Date: December 08, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, What's New
Related Tags: All States, Income Related Issues, Title I, Why Rural Matters


Rural Policy Matters: November 2009

Rural Policy Matters: November 2009
This issue of RPM includes an overview of Why Rural Matters (WRM), an interview with WRM co-author Jerry Johnson, more information about Title I inequities, a Title I Fairness Campaign, a map of the poorest 900 rural school districts, news from the Maine consolidation vote, RSFN, and more….
Date: November 30, 2009
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Formula Fairness Campaign

The Rural Trust announces a new campaign to bring fairness in the Title I funding formula for smaller higher poverty school districts…
Date: November 30, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, Rural 800/900, Title I


Why Rural Matters 2009: State and Regional Challenges and Opportunities

The fifth Why Rural Matters (WRM) biennial report from the Rural Trust is the nation’s most broad-ranging look at rural education in all 50 states. This year’s report finds that rural enrollment continues to grow across the country. As in the past, rural schools and students facing the biggest challenges are located in a southern band of states stretching from California across the southwest through the Deep South and into Appalachia. In these states public policy tends to make challenges worse not better.
 
New to WRM 2009 is a closer look at rural districts with the highest poverty rates in each state. Severe obstacles to student learning exist in these districts even in states where rural students generally fare reasonably well. However, student outcomes in some states are much better than in others suggesting that policy does indeed make a difference for students with the most challenges to high achievement. Read more about the major findings of WRM 2009 and check out results for your state…
Date: November 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: All States, RT Policy Department, Why Rural Matters


From the "Believe It Or Not" Basket:
The Cost of Being Small and Poor, the Charm of Being Big and Rich

Poor rural schools continue to lose Title I money to larger richer districts…
Date: November 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, No Child Left Behind, Rural 800/900, Title I


Map of the 900 Poorest Rural Districts

The poorest 900 rural school districts have poverty rates that rival or exceed the poorest urban districts, their students are diverse with no racial/ethnic majority, they are located in geographic clusters around the United States, and they are losing Title I funding to bigger richer districts…
Date: November 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural 800/900


Maine Consolidation Repeal Effort Goes Down to Defeat

Maine citizens voted in November to keep the state law that forces many smaller school districts to consolidate on the books. The vote generally followed community lines with voters in towns that would lose their district voting to repeal the law and voters in towns unaffected by the law voting to keep it in place. A political action committee with backing from Governor John Baldacci spent over $300,000 on a statewide campaign to convince voters to leave the law in place. But members of the Maine Coalition to Save Schools are continuing their efforts to address the law…
Date: November 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, School/District Size, Small Schools/School Size


Rural Education Finance Center Director Amanda Adler Published in Award-Winning Book

A newly released book on school finance, A Quality Education for Every Child: Stories from the Lawyers on the Front Line, was a finalist in the National Best Books Awards. Rural Trust’s Amanda Adler, Director of the REFC, wrote the chapter on rural school finance lawsuits…
Date: November 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: School Finance/Funding, School/District Size


Colorado Court Says Case Can Move Forward

Colorado’s highest court says that school funding issues are a matter for the courts…
Date: November 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Mississippi Eyes District Consolidation

The budget crisis may be a reason to put school consolidation on the legislative table in Mississippi even though some state leaders point out it is unlikely to produce savings…


Idaho Looking for Ways to Cut Spending

Idaho’s struggles to cut spending are not likely to lead to consolidation proposals…


Kansas Faces Multiple School Funding Issues

Consolidation proposals could be under consideration in Kansas as a way to cut costs, but some warn that unpopular school closures would likely follow…


Washington Funding Ruling Overturned

Washington court rules that differences in salaries are not a concern…
Date: November 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding, Teacher Issues


Percent Children Receiving Pre-School Services in a Public Elementary School, 2005-06

This chart, based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics, shows the percentage of children receiving pre-school services in public elementary schools in rural, suburban, and urban regions...
Date: November 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs


Achievement Gap Study Offers More Data for Understanding How Schools and Policymakers Can Respond

In this issue of RPM-PX we take a final look at a series of recent reports on the Achievement Gap with a review of David Berliner’s paper, Poverty and Potential: Out-of-School Factors and School Success. We offer our thoughts on its implications for rural schools…
Date: November 29, 2009
Related Categories: RSIN Premium Content, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Achievement Gap, RPM Premium Exclusive


Fact and Figures About Student Enrollment in Rural School Districts

Question: Which five states have the highest percentage of students enrolled in rural school districts?
Date: November 28, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Rural Policy Matters: October 2009

Rural Policy Matters: October 2009
This issue of RPM includes an update on the fight to retain local governance of rural districts in Maine, an explanation of Title I funding disparities that hurt poor students in smaller districts, and information about a useful guide on working with ELL students, as well as Rural School Funding News and more...


Same Old Consolidation Claims at Issue in Maine Vote

Mandatory district consolidation — for rural small districts — is shifting education costs to rural towns and breaking down Maine's traditions of self-governance. Next month voters will decide whether to reject the law that is forcing the dissolution of many of the state's school districts. Supporters of self-governance are urging citizens to reject a law they say is unfair, badly conceived, and unable to improve education: consolidation advocates, however, are making a variety of claims about "the facts…"


Title I Inequities in Plain Language

Some districts get less Title I money per eligible student than others, often much less, even in districts with very high poverty rates. That discrepancy is explained here with easy-to-understand examples…


New NSBA Publication May Help Rural Districts with Growing ELL Populations

Guide provides useful information about the legal responsibilities of school districts for the education of students learning English, including students who may lack proper immigration documentation…
Date: October 30, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: All States, English Language Learners (ELL), Immigration, K-12


Charter School Funding Suits

Several states have school funding lawsuits involving charter schools. This is a relatively new development in the school finance world. RSFN summarizes these new developments here...
Date: October 30, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


New Mexico Districts Contemplating Lawsuit

A school funding lawsuit may be in the making in New Mexico after the state's Senate failed to take up a bill revising the finance formula…
Date: October 30, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Kansas School Funding Coalition Reorganizing

Kansas districts may attempt to re-open a long-standing lawsuit now that funding levels have dropped lower than they were before the suit…
Date: October 30, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Oklahoma Funding Battle Heating Up

Both sides are trying to persuade voters on a constitutional amendment in Oklahoma that would require the state to spend more on K-12 education…
Date: October 30, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


New Georgia Funding Organization Speaks Out

After a series of attempts by the state to stop a group of school districts from suing the state over school funding, a new coalition has issued a report examining the need for changes in Georgia's finance system…
Date: October 30, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Total Number of Regular Public Schools in the United States, 2006-07

This chart, based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics, shows the total number and locations of regular public schools in the United States for the school year 2006-07.
Date: October 30, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, School Location


The Achievement Gap: Further Exploration of Factors That Undermine Achievement

RPM-PX continues its exploration of the achievement gap and how barriers to learning affect different groups of students…


Fact and Figures About Rural Schools in the United States

Question: What percentage of schools in the U.S. are rural?
Date: October 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Rural Policy Matters: September 2009

Rural Policy Matters: September 2009
This issue of RPM features articles on how members of the North Carolina Rural Education Working Group put some tough questions to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan about education in rural areas, a sneak preview of Why Rural Matters 2009, an appeal filed in the Arkansas Supreme Court on how long students may ride a school bus. Plus, Policy Program Director Marty Strange looks at some of the issues in the charter guidelines for Race to the Top funding…


Rural North Carolinians Raise Essential Issues with Secretary Duncan

Members of the North Carolina Rural Education Working Group put some tough questions to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan about education in rural areas…


Why Rural Matters 2009: Sneak Preview

The signature biennial report on rural education will be released later this fall. We provide a glimpse into the report…
Date: September 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: All States, Education Policy and Activism, Race to the Top, Why Rural Matters


Race to Where?

Policy Program Director Marty Strange takes an incisive look at some of the issues in the charter guidelines for Race to the Top funding — and describes an interesting alternative


Bus Rides at Issue in Arkansas Legal Appeal

Parents and students in an isolated rural community are claiming that their constitutional rights to an adequate and equitable education are violated by long bus rides since the local school was closed…
Date: September 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: Consolidation, Education Policy and Activism, Small Schools/School Size


New Name, Expanded Mission for Arkansas's ACRE

A venerable rural education advocacy group is expanding its mission and working to claim a better future with more opportunities for all of rural Arkansas…


Missouri Court Says Education Not a Fundamental Right

Missouri students are not entitled to equal funding because education is not a fundamental right and the state is meeting its constitutional spending requirement for education…
Date: September 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Kansas May Take Up School Consolidation

Some Kansas legislators are looking at consolidation as a way to reduce spending…


Ratio of Dollars Spent on Instruction for Every One Dollar Spent on Transportation

Ratio of dollars spent on instruction for every one dollar spent on  transportation, by rural, suburban, town, and urban locales.
Date: September 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, School Finance/Funding


Understanding and Addressing the Achievement Gap

A number of factors explain the devastating gap in achievement between middle and upper income white students and students from historically disadvantaged backgrounds. In this report we look at one of several recent reports that examines the gap and what can be done about it…


Fact and Figures About U.S. Students Attending Schools in Rural Communities

Question: What percentage of U.S. students attends schools located in rural communities?
Date: September 28, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Rural Policy Matters: August 2009

Rural Policy Matters: August 2009
This issue of RPM features articles on the poorest 900 rural school districts, an essay on the diversity of rural schools and realities of the toughest places, a report from a group working to address the school disciplinary and pushout crises, and of course Rural School Funding News and a graph of important school information…
Date: August 24, 2009
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


High-Poverty Rural, Small Town Districts Concentrated in Distinct Regions

The poorest rural school districts educate more than a million students with poverty rates higher than many cities. These districts are concentrated in distinct regions, mainly across the southern half of the country from California to North Carolina and into central Appalachia…


Groups Address School Pushout Crisis

As community groups and child advocates respond to increasing incidents of severe and excessive school discipline and rising rates of students being pushed out of school, it’s becoming clearer what kinds of approaches can help…


Fact and Figures About Parent Involvement in Children's Homework

Question: In what locales are parents most likely to check their children’s homework?
Date: August 20, 2009
Related Categories: Parent, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Elementary School, Facts and Figures, High School


Identifying the Poorest Rural Schools

The Rural Trust has identified the 900 poorest rural districts in the country. Here’s how we did it…


Getting Real About Rural Schools

Misconceptions about rural schools abound and they hurt students and communities, especially in the toughest places. In this essay we explore some of the realities of rural education and some of the things that would actually make a positive difference…


Ohio Gets New School Finance System

Ohio gets a new funding formula, despite current budget situation…
Date: August 20, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Rural South Dakota Schools Win Major Victory

South Dakota districts will be allowed to participate in school finance lawsuit…
Date: August 20, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Percentage of Public School Students Whose Parents Check That Homework Is Done

Percentage of public school students whose parents check that homework is done, by grade level and locale…
Date: August 20, 2009
Related Categories: Policy Services, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, Graphs, RT Policy Department, School Location


Rural Students Less Likely to Aspire to or Attend College

Blurb: Rural students are, on average, less likely to aspire to college, less likely to attend, and less likely to earn a degree than their urban and suburban counterparts. There are several explanations and things schools can do…


Rural Policy Matters: July 2009

Rural Policy Matters: July 2009
The July 2009 Rural Policy Matters features "Searching for Hamlet: To be or not to be for rural education," a commentary by Marty Strange and Robin Lambert; and a report on a White House gathering of representatives of a number of rural education organizations identified key issues affecting rural schools and suggested policy initiatives…


Searching for Hamlet: To be or not to be for rural education

The Obama administration has a great chance to learn about rural communities, but only if it will refrain from preaching a pre-determined agenda and really listen…


White House Meeting on Rural Education Identifies Important Topics

A White House gathering of representatives of a number of rural education organizations identified key issues affecting rural schools and suggested policy initiatives…
Date: July 18, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Policy, No Child Left Behind, Small Schools/School Size, Title I


Rural Parents in Arkansas Sue Over Consolidation

Parents of elementary and secondary students at Fourche Valley School in Arkansas are asking a circuit court judge to block the consolidation of their school....
Date: July 18, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: Consolidation, Small Schools/School Size


Indiana Funding Declining and Unlikely to Improve

Budget cuts and a court ruling mean poor schools won’t see funding increases soon…
Date: July 18, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Georgia Cutting Funding for Low Wealth Districts

Georgia reduces state funds that help make up for funding disparities in low wealth districts…
Date: July 18, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Cuts and Consolidation on Table in Pennsylvania Budget

Pennsylvania’s budget battles have put public school districts under threat of consolidation and drawn the attention of the U.S. Department of Education…
Date: July 18, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Recommendations on Changes to NCLB

A diverse group of organizations suggest an overhaul of the federal education law…
Date: July 18, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: No Child Left Behind, Title I


9th Annual Quality Education Conference

National conference focuses on school funding issues....
Date: July 18, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: All States, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Special Education Ruling

More special education students could be eligible for reimbursement for private school tuition…
Date: July 18, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: All States, Federal Policy, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


More Legal Guidance on Strip Searches

A strip search of a 13-year-old girl was ruled unreasonable by the highest court…
Date: July 18, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Student
Related Tags: All States, Federal Policy, Youth


ELL Funding in Arizona

Arizona is not violating the Equal Educational Opportunity Act in the way it funds programs for English Language Learners, but a lower court must review…


Medicaid Rural Change

Medicaid can continue to reimburse schools for some expenses related to providing services to students with disabilities…
Date: July 18, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Disabilities, Federal Policy, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Washington State Enacts Reforms During Recession

Washington State takes the unusual action of cutting education spending AND implementing a new reform program that will increase spending…
Date: July 18, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Percentage of Rural People Aged 5 and Older Who Speak English "Less Than Very Well"

A regional analysis of the percentages of people in rural areas who speak English "less than very well"…
Date: July 18, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: English Language Learners (ELL), Graphs


Teacher and Administrator Knowledge and Attitudes about the Dropout Problem

We take a new approach in this edition of RPM-PX. We provide an informal overview – one that emphasizes our own take – on an important issue. This month we look at On the Frontlines of Schools: Perspectives of Teachers and Principals on the High School Dropout Problem.


Rural Policy Matters: June 2009

Rural Policy Matters: June 2009This Rural School Finance edition explores some of the ways rural citizens around the country are advocating for rural students as state legislatures make historic budget decisions. Rural North Carolina residents work to preserve programs and classroom teachers; a significant program for low-wealth districts in Washington state escapes the axe; South Carolina's governor is ordered to accept stimulus funding; rural student's work continues to draw attention and resources to her school…


Rural North Carolinians Get Involved in State Budget Process

In a state with one of the worst deficits in the country, rural advocates are working to protect educational opportunities for rural students….
Date: June 27, 2009
Related Categories: Community Advocate, Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: School Finance/Funding


Deep Cuts Go Deepest in Poorest Rural Places

Legislative fight in Washington State reveals unique challenges facing rural schools in the worst recession in decades….
Date: June 26, 2009
Related Categories: Community Advocate, Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: School Finance/Funding


Facts and Figures About State Education Funding Inequality for Rural Districts

Figures from Why Rural Matters 2007 describe five states that have the most inequality in combined state and local revenue per pupil among rural districts....
Date: June 25, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, School Finance/Funding


Rural South Carolina Middle School Gets Donation of Furniture

The rural middle school referenced in President Obama’s address to Congress gets a donation of school furniture….


Date: June 25, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: Discipline, Graphs, School Location


Helping Middle Grade Students Stay — Or Get — On Track for Graduation

Many students who drop out of school begin to get off track early in the middle grades. The good news is that schools can often identify students who may be at risk and provide them with the support to stay in school and succeed....


South Carolina Court Orders Gov. Sanford to Let His People Go

The South Carolina Supreme Court has ordered Governor Mark Sanford to apply for federal stimulus money Sanford had insisted on not accepting because the federal government required it be used to help offset state budget cuts affecting schools and other public services.
Date: June 08, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: School Finance/Funding


Rural Policy Matters: May 2009

Rural Policy Matters: May 2009
The May 2009 Rural Policy Matters includes highlights from the April 2009 Rural Education Working Group conference. Also, read about the new degree program in Rural Studies at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia.
Date: May 28, 2009
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Creating Testing (And Other Performance) Environments that Can Help Students Beat Negative Expectations in High-Stakes Events

People perform more poorly when subjected to communication that suggests they are less competent. Such communication can be subtle and often comes as a negative societal stereotype. Studies confirm the effect and its significant impact on students. But schools can take steps to address the problem....


Healthy Rural Schools, Healthy Rural Communities: 2009 REWG Brings Rural Education Activists Together

See photos, download session materials, and get the scoop on the 2009 national Rural Education Working Group meeting, held in April in North Carolina.


Participate in Survey on School Siting

The Institute of Transportation Engineers is sponsoring the development of an informational report regarding the selection and design of school sites for the purpose of safe and efficient transportation.
Date: May 27, 2009
Related Categories: Community Advocate, Parent, Policy Maker, Rural Policy Matters, Student, Teacher
Related Tags: Facilities


College Offers New Major in Rural Studies

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College launches a degree program in Rural Studies; admissions are currently open.


Rural-Urban Funding Gap Grows in Nebraska

Funding gap between rural small districts and urban large districts widens in Nebraska…


Wisconsin Considers Funding Changes for Rural Schools

A bill in Wisconsin would help schools with declining enrollment, transportation costs…


Missouri Arguments Heard

Rural Missouri districts appeal school funding lawsuit decision…


Ohio Funding Reform Faces Opposition

Plans to increase the state’s share of school funding face opposition in Ohio…


Teacher Turnover, 2003-04 to 2004-05 School Years

Figures from the U.S. Department of Education show teacher turnover rates are lower in small town and rural areas...
Date: May 27, 2009
Related Categories: Administrator, Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: Graphs, Teacher Issues


Facts and Figures About State Education Funding for Rural Districts

Figures from Why Rural Matters reveal a disparity between the percentage of state funds designated for rural communites and the percentage of public schools located in rural places...


Rural Policy Matters: April 2009

Rural Policy Matters: April 2009
In the April 2009 Rural Policy Matters, find out how a recent analysis of Title I funding by the Rural Trust finds that two of the four formulas that are used to provide extra funding for poor students provide much more federal funding per eligible student to some districts than to others with similar or higher poverty rates. Also, read about how a lack of sleep is linked to poorer academic performance and behavior — and how this affects rural students who have long bus rides.


Facts and Figures About States and Rural Student Enrollment

Question: In how many states do rural students comprise more than 36% of total enrollment?
Date: May 05, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Gross Disparity: Some Poor Pennsylvania Students Get Much More Title I Funding Than Others

A recent analysis of Title I funding by the Rural Trust finds that two of the four formulas that are used to provide extra funding for poor students provide much more federal funding per eligible student to some districts than to others with similar or higher poverty rates....


Arizona Court Strikes Voucher Program

The Arizona Supreme Court has upheld an appellate court decision striking down two private school voucher programs as unconstitutional.....


Obama Administration Files Amicus Brief in Arizona ELL Case

The politics surrounding Arizona’s long-running Flores English-Language Learner (ELL) lawsuit continue to heat up in advance of its hearing before the United States Supreme Court.....


South Dakota Judge Rules Funding Not Unconstitutional

A South Dakota judge has found that the state’s funding system needs improvement but is not unconstitutional.....


Georgia Attorney General Rules School Group Illegal

The organization that brought a school finance lawsuit in Georgia has been declared illegal by the state’s attorney general in an opinion solicited by the governor....


Rural Trust Joins in Friend of the Court Brief in Missouri Lawsuit

The Rural Trust, along with Missouri School Boards Association, Education Justice at the Education Law Center and the National School Board Association have filed a friend of the court brief in the Missouri Supreme Court earlier this year.....


Percentage of Rural School Districts with Reading Performance Above State Median, Per NCLB

Figures from the New America Foundation show student reading performances based on different locales, per NCLB....
Date: May 05, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, No Child Left Behind


Improving Adolescent Reading Will Take More Than Top-Down Technocratic Solutions

A new report outlines a process for improving reading achievement in middle and high school grades. We offer a synopsis of the study and a broad overview of additional issues we think should be considered....


Rural Policy Matters: March 2009

Rural Policy Matters: March 2009In the March 2009 Rural Policy Matters, Rural Trust President Rachel Tompkins helps put the letter of a South Carolina teen in national perspective. Also, find out how communities pulled together in South Carolina to stop the closure of their schools, and why poorer smaller districts are losing out in the economic stimulus plan.
Date: April 04, 2009
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Article, Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Understanding and Developing Programs for English Language Learners in Rural Districts

Across the country English Language Learners (ELL) are enrolling in rural schools in record numbers. Many schools that have never enrolled ELL students find themselves stumped about how to best respond when the first few ELL students enroll or when their numbers rapidly increase. In this edition of RPM-PX we share a report that explores how rural school districts respond to emergent ELL student communities.


Give Every Child More than the Best Seat in the House (Chamber)

Rural Trust President Rachel Tompkins helps put the letter of a South Carolina teen in national perspective...


Rural South Carolinians Help District Rethink Consolidation

Communities pulled together in South Carolina to stop the closure of their schools…


WKCD Speech Contest 2009: Crisis and Hope

Young people today are living through a time of economic and world crisis. But crisis also gives birth to hope and opportunity. As Graduation Day approaches, WKCD invites you to raise your voice and let others know what matters most to you, in this moment and in the years ahead. Give it your best and you may be a winner, with your voice heard around the world!
Date: April 02, 2009
Related Categories: Funding/Grants/Scholarships, Resource Center, Rural Policy Matters, Student
Related Tags: Youth


South Carolina Changes Rules to Accommodate Shortfall

Facing severe cuts to education spending, South Carolina changes spending and employment guidelines for districts…


Wisconsin Network Proposes New Funding Plan

Wisconsin group proposes comprehensive new funding plan for schools...


Poorer Smaller Districts Lose Out in Stimulus

The federal stimulus package provides needed relief to many schools, but it replicates serious inequities for smaller districts with high poverty rates…


Percent Schools with Formal After-School Programs*

Figures from the U.S. Department of Education show the availability of after-school programs as sorted by community type.
Date: March 31, 2009
Related Categories: Parent, Rural Policy Matters, Student
Related Tags: Graphs, Youth


Facts and Figures About Student Enrollment by School District

Question: How many U.S. school districts enroll fewer than 1,000 students?
Date: March 31, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Rural Policy Matters: February 2009

Rural Policy Matters: February 2009The February 2009 Rural Policy Matters includes the articles Arkansas Communities Forge Revitalization Process, A New School Funding Formula Proposed in New Mexico, and Maine Consolidation Fight Twists Again.
 
Date: March 17, 2009
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Article, Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Arkansas Communities Forge Revitalization Process

Three very different rural communities in Arkansas are partnering with the statewide rural education group ACRE to improve the economies, quality of life, and future prospects of their places. Read about what they have discovered is essential to the process…


Bill to Limit School Size in New Mexico

Under legislation introduced in the New Mexico legislature, state funds could not be used for new construction of larger schools and schools could only be consolidated if “consolidation is in the best interest of students served by each of the schools…”


Maine Consolidation Fight Twists Again

Maine’s forced school district consolidation process continues down its rocky road.


Education Funding in the Stimulus: An Overview

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides significant additional funding for public schools. Details are still forthcoming, but we outline the basic funding streams and their requirements…


2006-07 College Enrollment Status for the 10th Grade Class of 2001-02

Figures from the U.S. Department of Education show the college enrollment status for the 10th grade class of 2001-02.
Date: March 12, 2009
Related Categories: Administrator, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: All States, College/University, Graphs, High School


Alaska Still Denying Rural Students in Struggling Schools

Superior Court Judge Sharon Gleason has ruled that the state of Alaska is continuing to deny students in struggling rural schools the education they are guaranteed under the Alaska Constitution.


Arizona ELL Case to Go to U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the long-running Flores lawsuit on appeal from legislative leaders in Arizona and the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Horne.


Oregon Court Rules State Not Obligated

The Oregon Supreme Court has ruled against a group of families and school districts that brought a finance lawsuit against the state in 2006.


Arguments Heard on Whether South Dakota Districts Can Sue State

The South Dakota Supreme Court has heard arguments on whether school districts can sue the state or finance a lawsuit against the state...


Encourage Teen-Driver Safety: National Grant Competition

Project Ignition, sponsored by State Farm Companies Foundation and the National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC), is an annual competition for high school students to promote teen-driver safety.
Date: March 12, 2009
Related Categories: Administrator, Funding/Grants/Scholarships, Rural Policy Matters, Student, Teacher
Related Tags: All States, High School, Youth


There You Go Again

Lavina Grandon, Policy and Education Director of Arkansas’s Advocates for Community and Rural Education to an editorial, responds to an editorial entitled, “There they go again,” published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; February 10, 2009; page 16 (Editorial section).


A New School Funding Formula Proposed in New Mexico

A new funding formula that was produced by a legislatively funded study committee and its consultants would increase overall state aid by over 15%, according to a Rural School and Community Trust analysis...


Facts and Figures About School Lunches in Poor Rural School Districts

What percent of students who attend school in the 800 poorest rural school districts qualify for free or reduced priced lunches?


School Discipline: Special Edition

Across the country disturbing patterns are emerging in the ways schools deal with students on disciplinary issues. This special edition of RPM takes an in-depth look at some of these issues with emphasis on how communities can get involved to ensure that all students have the best educational opportunities in school environments that are safe and supportive...


Rural Policy Matters: January 2009

Rural Policy Matters: January 2009Across the country disturbing patterns are emerging in the ways schools deal with students on disciplinary issues. The January 2009 edition of RPM takes an in-depth look at some of these issues with emphasis on how communities can get involved to ensure that all students have the best educational opportunities in school environments that are safe and supportive.
Date: January 03, 2009
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Article, Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Discipline of Students with Disabilities

Addressing behavior problems in students with disabilities requires knowledge of the law and specific processes...


Disproportionate Discipline: African-American Students in U.S. Schools

African-American students are more likely than other students to be suspended, expelled, or disciplined with corporal punishment. There is no evidence that African-American students have a higher incidence of serious misbehavior than other students. Rather, they receive harsher punishments for more minor and subjective infractions...


Facts and Figures About Rural Students of Color

The total number of rural students of color more than double between 1995-96 and 2004-05.


Finding the Discipline Data

Most schools collect a good bit of data on behavior incidents and disciplinary actions. Learn how to find that data…


Graph: To What Extent Are Parents Involved in School Discipline Issues?

To what extent are parents involved in school discipline issues?


Help Shape the National Rural Education Policy Agenda

Lend your perspective on important policy issues affecting rural schools, students, and communities…


Mississippi Communities Take Responsibility for School Discipline

Citizens in Sunflower County, Mississippi are using policy to take responsibility for what happens to students in their schools…


Improving the Disciplinary Climate: More Options for Communities

A variety of approaches can be useful to communities to help improve the disciplinary climate of their schools…


Positive Behavior Intervention Supports: A School-Wide Approach to Improving Behavior and School Climate

The best way to address school discipline issues is to create an environment where mutual respect is a primary value and students are taught and supported to behave in productive and responsible ways…


Montana Court Denies Relief

Financial problems in rural Montana districts are acknowledged, but the court doesn’t order relief…


The Legal Landscape of School Discipline

Both schools and students have rights and responsibilities when it comes to discipline…


The Other School Violence

Parents have little recourse when their children are treated violently at school, at least in many states…


"Are Zero Tolerance Policies Effective in the Schools?" A Review

Many schools and districts across the country have adopted “zero tolerance” policies that impose specific, often severe, penalties on students for behavior infractions. Research suggests these policies may be counter-productive…


Rural Policy Matters: December 2008

Rural Policy Matters: December 2008The December 2008 Rural Policy Matters includes features on how rural Bertie County, North Carolina, has launched an ambitious grow-your-own teacher program that aims to transform the district, and an analysis of the 2008 presidential vote in rural areas, with some thoughts for the president-elect...
Date: December 04, 2008
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Article, Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Home Grown Teachers

An extensive locally developed and locally funded grow-your-own-teacher program is underway in North Carolina's Bertie County, the state's poorest school system in terms of local funding.


Obama and the Rural Vote

Analysis of the presidential vote in rural areas with some thoughts for the president-elect...



Public Policy Principles for Rural Education

The Rural Trust has identified 15 principles to guide its policy work. Each principle is expressed as a contrast between the conditions we seek to achieve in rural public schools and the conditions we seek to avoid. We are publishing one per edition of RPM.


Facts and Figures About Elected Chief State School Officers

Question: How many states elect the Chief State School Officer (State Superintendent of Education)?
Date: December 03, 2008
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Oklahoma Spending Likely to Go to Statewide Ballot

Voters in Oklahoma will likely vote on whether to force the state to increase spending on education...


Total Title I Funding per Eligible Child, 2008-09 School Year

Rural students receive, on average, less funding per eligible student through the federal Title I program, which is intended to provide additional educational support for very low-income and seriously at-risk students.


Rural PreK Challenges

Rural communities face more challenges in providing preschool programs and as a result rural children are less likely to participate, which has consequences for schools, families, and the children themselves. A recent report explores some of the challenges and recommends ways to level the playing field...


Arizona Court to Hear Voucher Appeal

The long fight over vouchers continues in Arizona...
Date: December 03, 2008
Related Categories: Administrator, Elected Official/Staff, Policy Maker, Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: School Finance/Funding


"Placing Teachers?"

Some important insights for the appropriate training of teachers for rural schools...


Characteristics of a Successful High-Poverty Rural School: A Review

A discussion of a paper presented at this year's American Education Research Association that attempts to answer the question of why some rural schools do better than others...


Rural Policy Matters: November 2008

Rural Policy Matters November 2008The November 2008 Rural Policy Matters included the articles "A Win for Everyone: Arkansas’s Teacher Housing Incentives Help Schools Keep Teachers, Help Teachers Grow Investments, and Help Communities Build Wealth"; "Maine's Struggle with Consolidation Law Continues"; and information about changes to Pennsylvania's school funding formula.
Date: November 06, 2008
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Article, Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


RSFN-Extras: Colorado Funding Issues to Go Before High Court

The Colorado Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on appeal in the Lobato school funding case...
Date: November 06, 2008
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


RSFN-Extras: New Hampshire Funding Lawsuit Dismissed

The state Supreme Court has said that New Hampshire is doing enough to meet its constitutional obligations and dismissed the 17-year-old Londonderry school funding case...
Date: November 06, 2008
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Cutting Curriculum for NCLB

The pressures of NCLB have put recess in danger in some schools; but the real danger is to subjects other than math and reading, at least for some students...
Date: November 06, 2008
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: No Child Left Behind


Infusing Heritage and Connectedness in Academic Support in North Carolina

In North Carolina, a committed community group is making a difference for young people and the whole community...


Home Ownership is a Wonderful Thing: Teachers Share Their Experiences with the Arkansas Teacher Housing Assistance Program

RPM talks to four teachers who have participated in Arkansas's unique program to assist teachers in high-priority school districts with housing expenses...


State Housing Assistance Programs for Teachers: A Sampler

Several states provide some kind of assistance to teachers as a recruitment incentive for hard-to-staff schools. We provide information about some of those programs.


Graph: Percent Public Schools Offering Distance Learning Courses

This graph shows the percentage of public schools that offer distance learning courses, ranked by population markers: city, urban fringe, and rural.
Date: November 06, 2008
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Distance Learning, Educational Technology, Graphs


Rural School Funding News: New Mexico Group Advocates Smaller Schools

Policy group advocates limiting school size...
Date: November 06, 2008
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School/District Size


Rural School Funding News: Minnesota Districts Seeking Local Funding

Rural Minnesotans vote on school funding initiatives...
Date: November 06, 2008
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region, Teacher
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding, Teacher Issues


Rural School Funding News: Georgia Governor Wants Lawsuit Participation Blocked

Georgia's governor tries to stop school districts from paying dues to coalition...
Date: November 06, 2008
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Rural School Funding News: Wide-Ranging Developments in Arizona

Developments in Arizona could mean major policy changes for rural schools...


Maine's Struggle with Consolidation Law Continues

The Maine Coalition to Save Schools filed a citizen initiated petition to repeal the state's school consolidation law in October...


Economic Bailout Renews Secure Rural Schools Act

Schools in so-called forest counties will get four more years of federal funding...
Date: November 06, 2008
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: School Finance/Funding


A Win for Everyone: Arkansas's Teacher Housing Incentives

Recruiting teachers is no small challenge for many rural schools especially those in communities where many people struggle economically...


2008 State Election Update: A Sampler

Several states had education issues on the ballot. We take a look at some of them...


2008 Federal Election Outcomes

The composition of some congressional committees dealing with education will change...
Date: November 06, 2008
Related Categories: Policy Maker, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: All States, Education Policy and Activism


2009 REWG: Make Your Plans

The North Carolina state Rural Education Working Group is hosting the 8th annual REWG meeting in April. Members describe why the meeting is important to them...


Facts and Figures About Rural Families and Poverty

What percentage of rural families live in poverty?
Date: November 06, 2008
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, Income Related Issues


Missouri's Ozarks Schools Suffer Funding Disparity

Rural schools in the mountains of Missouri have less money per student than other schools in the state...


Facts and Figures on Rural Adults Who Hold High School Diplomas

Question: In what 11 states do fewer than 80% of rural adults hold high school or equivalency (GED) diplomas?
Date: October 10, 2008
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: Facts and Figures


Student Loan Forgiveness Options for Teachers and Schools

Federal student loan forgiveness programs can help schools, especially low-income schools, recruit teachers...


Wyoming Attracts Montana Teachers

Montana is losing teachers to Wyoming...


New Mexico Adopts Navajo Language Textbook

Many New Mexico students will learn Navajo at school...


Rural School Funding News: Georgia Case Withdrawn

Georgia case likely to be re-filed...


Tough Economic Times Make for Tough Decisions in Arkansas

Arkansas weighing key components of school funding...


South Dakota Lawsuit Highlights Rural Issues

South Dakota case highlights complexities for poorly-funded but high-achieving rural schools...


Date: October 10, 2008
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Student
Related Tags: Graphs, Youth


Homelessness in Rural Oregon

Homelessness rising faster in rural communities than cities...


State Student Loan Forgiveness Programs for Teachers, A Sampler

Many states offer programs to increase the number of teachers...


TEACH Grants Can Help Some Prospective Teachers

The new federal TEACH program can help students become teachers, and low-income schools should know how to use the program...


Structuring Schools So Students Succeed: Rural Perspectives

Putting a rural perspective on research about school re-structuring...


Rural Policy Matters: October 2008

Rural Policy Matters October 2008The October 2008 Rural Policy Matters included the feature articles "Student Loan Forgiveness Options for Teachers and Schools," which discussed how Federal student loan forgiveness programs can help schools, especially low-income schools, recruit teachers; and "Missouri's Ozarks Schools Suffer Funding Disparity," which reports on how rural schools in the mountains of Missouri have less money per student than other schools in the state.
Date: October 10, 2008
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Article, Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Rural Policy Matters: September 2008

Rural Policy Matters: September 2008The September 2008 Rural Policy Matters included the feature articles "Bringing Technology to Rural Georgia," "Untangling the Fuel Budget Mess," and "Working Together to Stay Small, Get More Efficient," which describes how the Western Maine Educational Collaborative is reducing the operating costs of small schools -- not by making them big through consolidation, but by inter-local cooperation among small schools and districts.
Date: September 01, 2008
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Article, Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Review: Meeting the Challenge of Rural Pre-K

If your district is one of the many rural districts attempting to implement a preschool program, you are probably familiar with some of the challenges.


State Education Cuts Fall Harder on Rural Districts: A Kentucky Example

Across the country many lower-wealth rural schools are absorbing a disproportionate share of state funding cuts and feeling the downside of a commonly-used state funding mechanism intended to help them.


Working Together to Stay Small, Get More Efficient

Can the operating costs of small schools be reduced — not by making them big through consolidation — but by inter-local cooperation among small schools and districts? The Western Maine Educational Collaborative (WMEC) says so, and it’s proving it.


Rural Policy Matters: August 2008

Rural Policy Matters: August 2008The August 2008 Rural Policy Matters included feature articles on the National Rural Education Policy Agenda Committee, a critique on a report from the Alliance for Excellent Education on the economic impact of high-school dropouts, and review of proceedings at the June 2008 Second Annual National Rural Assembly in Washington, DC.
Date: August 01, 2008
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Article, Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Indian Education

Only about 1.3 percent of U.S. public school children are American Indians, but these 624,000 students are significant parts of the student population in Alaska (26%), Oklahoma (18%), Montana (11%), New Mexico (11%) and South Dakota (11%).


Rural Teacher Salaries: Big Threat to Teacher Quality

Rural teachers are paid less than suburban and urban teachers. This is true almost everywhere. It’s true at all levels of teaching experience and teacher education. And it’s an especially serious problem in lower-wealth rural districts...


Rural School Funding News: South Carolina Rural Schools Have Their Day in Court

In a dramatic and at times heated exchange, South Carolina Supreme Court justices assured lawyers for plaintiff districts that they recognize the severe discrepancies in the quality of education in poor and rural schools in the state....


New Mexico Devises Strong Funding Formula: An Analysis

A proposed school funding formula in New Mexico sends state funding where it is needed most...


Rural Policy Matters: July 2008

Rural Policy Matters: July 2008 The July 2008 Rural Policy Matters included feature articles on the May 2008 Rural Education Working Group Conference, the launching of the National Rural Education Policy Agenda (NREPA), and "Geographical Price Adjustments: Sending Money to the Wealthiest," an analysis of Pennsylvania's proposed new funding system for schools.


New Mexico Devises Strong Funding Formula: An Analysis

A New Mexico school funding formula that was produced by a legislatively funded study committee and its consultants would increase overall state aid to schools by over 15% and, according to a new Rural School and Community Trust analysis, send the biggest increases to smaller districts serving the poorest, most rural, communities, those with large percentages of Hispanic and Native American students, and those with high proportions of English Language Learners...


REWG 2008: Workshops With Links to Selected Materials

The 2008 Rural Education Working Group conference featured 19 different workshops. Many of those workshops included PowerPoints and hand-outs that are available here.


Rural Policy Matters: June 2008

Rural Policy Matters: June 2008The June 2008 Rural Policy Matters included the articles "The Best Teacher I Ever Saw," with comments from kindergarten, first, and second grade students at Greenfield School in Teton County, Montana; "Elected, Appointed, Partisan? It All Matters: The Structures of State Education Governance," which describes the lack of consistency among states in how they select public officials for top education jobs; and "Getting Organized in Your Community and State," with tips from Challenge West Virginia.


Review: “Democracy at Risk: The Need for a New Federal Policy in Education,” The Forum for Education and Democracy, April 2008

The relatively low international ranking of U.S. educational achievement and attainment is the stuff of numerous reports...


Some Lessons from the Rural Experience in School Finance Reform

History provides some important insights about what makes funding systems work for rural schools...


Rural Policy Matters: May 2008

Rural Policy Matters: May 2008The May 2008 Rural Policy Matters included the feature articles "Working to Keep Kids in School," which described how one rural county in North Carolina is addressing the alarming rate of student suspensions; "Nebraska Shifts Funding From Rural to Urban Districts;" and "High-Poverty Rural Districts in Kentucky Lose Share of Title I Funding."


Review: "Additional Learning Opportunities in Rural Communities: Needs, Successes, and Challenges"

Roy Forbes' report, “Additional Learning Opportunities in Rural Communities: Needs, Successes, and Challenges,” adds another important voice to the call for equitable resources for rural schools and their students, especially their low-income students...


State Test Scores in Kentucky Reflect Socio-Economic Status

An analysis of district level scores on Kentucky's state standardized tests produces results different from a straight ranking, and offers important insight for how low-wealth rural districts can improve...


Rural Policy Matters: April 2008

Rural Policy Matters: April 2008The April 2008 Rural Policy Matters included articles on the Rural Trust's Rural School Innovation Network, a new project of the Rural Trust that brings together rural schools and districts in a mutual partnership to improve rural education; "Kansas Debates Cutting Funds for High-Poverty Rural Districts;" "Eastern Kentucky University Establishes Education Doctorate with Rural Focus;" and "West Virginia Limits Elementary Bus Rides."
Date: April 01, 2008
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Article, Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


State Updates: South Dakota

South Dakota education updates including teacher salaries, consolidation, scholarships, and more...


Title I's Small State Minimum

Federal funds distributed to schools to help educate disadvantaged children are distributed through a complicated series of formulas. One of the most political of the Title I provisions is the so-called "small state minimum"...


Education Clauses in State Constitutions

Every state has a portion of its constitution that describes the state's responsibility to provide for public education. This language is called the state's 'education clause.'


Rural School Funding News: New Education Clause Proposed in South Carolina

The ongoing effort to improve educational opportunity for all students in the state is taking a new direction in South Carolina....


Rural Policy Matters: March 2008

Rural Policy Matters: March 2008The March 2008 Rural Policy Matters included a feature article on Linda Martin, who retired from Challenge West Virginia after years of "Building Capacity in Community." Also, "School Levies Face Challenges" discusses questions about the role of local voters in school budgets in light of the Fall 2008 school levy votes, and "Maine Group Continues to Collect Signatures" reports on the Maine Coalition to Save Schools' plan to continue collecting signatures to repeal a 2007 law mandating the consolidation of most of the state's school districts.
Date: March 01, 2008
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Article, Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Rural Policy Matters: February 2008

Rural Policy Matters: February 2008In the February 2008 Rural Policy Matters, Rural Trust President Rachel Tompkins writes about the complexity of rural education in "Rural Schools: Growing, Diverse, and... Complicated." This piece first appeared as a "back page" editorial in the national publication, Education Week, on January 16, 2008. Also, a critical analysis of nationally significant school funding issues in Georgia is the focus of "School Funding in Turmoil in Georgia," where radical proposals in the legislature could cripple school funding and citizen participation in education policymaking.


Rural Schools: Growing, Diverse, and ... Complicated

Rural students are a diverse group and their numbers are growing. Their situations and their schools, however, are not simple, and their needs are varied. If presidential candidates and policymakers pay attention, they will find that many state governments have not served their rural students well, especially where need is greatest.


Rural Policy Matters: January 2008

Rural Policy Matters: January 2008The January 2008 Rural Policy Matters included the feature articles "Students of Color Comprise Majority in High Poverty Rural Districts;" "Building Community Connections for the Success of All Children," which looks at the efforts of hundreds of community residents in five rural eastern North Carolina counties that are working together to plan and implement their ideas in their communities; and "Fewer Students Leave Small Alabama High Schools Before Graduation."
Date: January 01, 2008
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Article, Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Students of Color Comprise Majority in High Poverty Rural Districts

The 800 rural districts with the highest poverty rates (what we call the “Rural 800”) serve a population made up primarily of students of color. The districts, scattered across 38 states, serve nearly a million students...


The Rural Perspective: An Analysis of the Proposed Department of Education's Budget and How It Will Impact Rural America for FY 2008

In partnership with AASA, NEA, and NAFIS, we provide an overview of how the President's proposed budget will affect rural schools and communities.


Rural Policy Matters: September 2007

Rural Policy Matters: September 2007The September 2007 Rural Policy Matters included the feature articles "Millions in Title I Funding Reallocated From Smaller to Larger Districts" and "Poorest Rural Districts Poorer Than Most Cities," which reports on how the 800 poorest rural districts in the U.S. enroll nearly a million students and have poverty rates higher than most cities.
Date: September 01, 2007
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index


Poorest Rural Districts Poorer Than Most Cities

The 800 poorest rural districts in the U.S. enroll nearly a million students and have poverty rates higher than most cities....


Mississippi Parents and Students Hold Public Schools Accountable

Indianola, Mississippi is one of those places where parents and students in public school must work hard, continuously, to push the schools to educate students and to hold the schools accountable to the people they are supposed to serve.


Rural Policy Matters: December 2006

Rural Policy Matters: December 2006The December 2006 Rural Policy Matters included the feature articles "Bias Against Small Districts in Title I Formula is 'Systematic,'” which explored the impact of Title I formulas across Texas districts; "Rural Advocate Uncovers Privatization Ploy," a report on a South Carolina tuition tax credit proposal that would for private school vouchers; and "The Rural Trust on NCLB--Thoughts About Trying to Improve a Flawed Law," a Rural Trust a position paper outlining recommendations for the reauthorization of NCLB.
Date: December 01, 2006
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Article, Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


Rural Advocate Uncovers Privatization Ploy

James Holloway, a member of the South Carolina Rural Education Grassroots Group, was initially interested in what an organization called Clergy for Educational Options said they were offering his rural community. But with some investigation he discovered that the group was really pushing private school vouchers using public money. Holloway challenged the group and learned a lot about its operations and its ties to large out-of-state privatization interests....


Rural Advocate Uncovers Privatization Ploy: Online Supplement

More information on the ties between national privatization interests and the organization Clergy for Educational Options (CEO), which is working in rural South Carolina....


Rural Policy Matters: April 2006

Rural Policy Matters: April 2006 This issue of Rural Policy Matters (RPM) explores school-community partnerships that are helping rural students and communities thrive, with examples from six communities: Rappahannock County, Virginia; East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana; Wakefield, Nebraska; Worth County, Missouri; Elgin, Nebraska; and Ojai, California.
Date: April 01, 2006
Related Categories: Publications, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural Policy Matters Issue Index, Rural Trust Publication


School-Community Partnerships Benefit Both

Increasingly, rural schools and communities are heeding such wisdom. This issue of Rural Policy Matters (RPM) explores school-community partnerships that are helping rural students and communities thrive.
Date: April 01, 2006
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: School-Community Partnerships


New Mexico Provides Support to Rural Schools to Engage in Community Revitalization

The New Mexico Department of Education wants to improve rural education in the state by funding schools to engage their students and teachers in direct efforts to revitalize and improve the economically distressed communities the schools serve...


Small Districts — An Achievement Strategy for Iowa

Iowa's small school districts are an "achievement blessing" that should play an important role in the state's strategy to improve education and they should be "intentionally supported" in the state's school funding system, according to a new report by the Rural School and Community Trust...
Date: April 01, 2006
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: School Finance/Funding, Small Schools/School Size


North Dakota Funding Lawsuit on Hold

Nine school districts in North Dakota have agreed to stay a school funding lawsuit pending the outcome of the next legislative session...
Date: April 01, 2006
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


North Carolina Judge Demands State Action on "Failing" High Schools

The judge presiding over the North Carolina school finance lawsuit known as Leandro has written a letter to state education officials demanding that high schools with records of poor test scores be given new leadership and be restructured or closed if scores don't improve by the end of the 2005-06 school year.
Date: April 01, 2006
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News


Arizona Increases Funding for English Language Learner Programs

An Arizona bill that will increase funding for programs for English Language Learners (ELL) awaits federal district court review before becoming law...


Adequacy Plaintiffs Win Summary Judgement in New Hampshire

The plaintiff school districts in New Hampshire's current adequacy lawsuit, Londonderry School District v. State have won summary judgment before a state superior court...
Date: April 01, 2006
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Colorado Coalition Loses Funding Suit in State Court

Children's Voices, a Colorado coalition representing 14 school districts and numerous parents, lost its funding suit at the state court level when Denver District Judge Michael Martinez dismissed their case...
Date: April 01, 2006
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Rural High Schools in the Southeast Are Larger and Have Higher Poverty Rates Than in Other States

How do rural high poverty rates and school sizes in southeastern states compare with the rest of the nation?
Date: April 01, 2006
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, Income Related Issues


Making the School Useful to the Community — Rappahannock County, Virginia

Rappahannock County, Virginia schools have developed a wide-range of learning opportunities that enable students to meet a local community need while developing their own academic capabilities. The result is a variety of innovative partnerships that make life in the county better for students and for local residents...
Date: April 01, 2006
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: School-Community Partnerships


School-Based Clinic Serves All — East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana

East Feliciana Parish school district and RKM-Primary Care Clinic collaborated to create a school-based health clinic — two in fact. The partnership has benefited both the school and community residents in a variety of ways...
Date: April 01, 2006
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: School-Community Partnerships


Building a New Community — Wakefield, Nebraska

The community of Wakefield, Nebraska created a Family Resource Center that has eased the transition for a small community experiencing rapid economic, cultural, and demographic change.
Date: April 01, 2006
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: School-Community Partnerships


Partnerships Spur Library, National Park, and Preschool — Worth County, Missouri

Worth County School District and a variety of community partners have worked together to develop a school-community library, a preschool, and a National Park (that's right) with a track, outdoor classroom, amphitheater, garden, and paths...
Date: April 01, 2006
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: School-Community Partnerships


School and Church Partner to Create Community Preschool — Elgin, Nebraska

When Elgin, Nebraska decided to create a preschool four years ago, they expected some great things to happen. They've had some surprises along the way and one of them is that their preschool program has attracted the attention of several young families interested in moving to this community...
Date: April 01, 2006
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: School-Community Partnerships


Partners Create Child Care and Performing Arts Complex — Ojai, California

Community organizations and the schools in Ojai, California have a long history of friendly relations. Two collaborations are featured here: the Smart Start program, which offers preschool and before and after school programs, and the development of a performing arts complex shared by Nordhoff High School and the Ojai Performing Arts Theater Academy...
Date: April 01, 2006
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: School-Community Partnerships


Nebraska Legislature Active as Rural Education Advocates Work

Nebraska's unicameral (one house) legislature has proposed a flurry of bills related to school finance since the Nebraska Coalition for Educational Equity and Adequacy (NCEEA) filed a school finance adequacy case in 2004...

Date: April 01, 2006
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: School Finance/Funding


Rural Policy Matters: July 2005

Rural Policy Matters: July 2005The July 2005 Rural Policy Matters included the feature articles "How to Know if Your School or District is Threatened with Consolidation—and What to Do About It," "Kids Breathe Bus Pollution—New Meaning to “Kids First," "Pay Gap for Rural Educators," and "Louisiana Urged to Fully Fund Mandated Education Program."
Date: July 01, 2005
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Article, Rural Policy Matters Issue Index


How to Know if Your School or District is Threatened with Consolidation—and What to Do About It

Participants at a workshop at the Rural Education Working Group conference in Charleston, West Virginia, April 1–3, talked about how to anticipate a threat to consolidate your school before it is too late to stop it, and what to do about it. Here are just some of the notes from workshop leader Robin Lambert, a consultant to the Rural Trust, with a few ideas added later.
Date: July 01, 2005
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Community Organizing, Consolidation, Education Policy and Activism


Rural Equity Collaborative Fights for Rural Kids in Four States

Four state organizations and the Rural School and Community Trust are entering the third year of a partnership that is making a difference for rural kids in Mississippi, Nebraska, Vermont, and West Virginia.


National Study Links Small Schools and Higher Achievement

A major study by rural education researchers Craig and Aimee Howley addresses the vexing problem of how individual students of various income levels fare in larger and smaller schools nationwide. It is the strongest evidence to date that small schools are better for low income children.