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Community Schools 2016 National Forum Scheduled for April 6 - 8 in Albuquerque

Rural educators and stakeholders are encouraged to attend the Community Schools 2016 National Forum.


Application Deadline for 2016 Global Teacher Fellowship Program Extended to February 12

The Rural Trust is pleased to announce that applications for the 2016 Global Teacher Fellowship Program are now open!  The application deadline has been extended to February 12, 2016.


Read for Success Report Addresses Summer Learning Loss in Poor and Rural Communities

In May 2015, Reading is Fundamental (RIF) released the report entitled, Read for Success: Combating the Summer Learning Slide. The study was designed by RIF to determine how schools and communities in the poorest and/or most rural areas could address summer learning loss, and ultimately the achievement gap, through access to opportunity, books, and learning resources.


Virginia Rural Elementary Schools Receive Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children Grants

Two rural public elementary schools in Virginia will receive grants of $50,000 each from the Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children, which provides educational resources to underfunded schools in rural communities.


Administration Releases Report, Opportunity for All: Fighting Rural Child Poverty

On May 20, 2015, the White House released the report, entitled, Opportunity for All: Fighting Rural Child Poverty. The report examines poverty in rural areas, compares urban and rural poverty rates, discusses how safety net programs reduce rural poverty, and highlights the Administration's efforts and proposals to reduce poverty and promote opportunity in rural communities.


Listen to IEL's Community Schools and Equity Recorded Webinar Series

Beginning in January 2015, the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) has hosted a series of community schools and equity webinars. The webinars explore how to utilize the full-service community school approach, both in policy and in practice. In addition, these webinars also discuss methods of closing the equity and opportunity gaps for all children.


Rural Schools Collaborative Grant Applications Due May 15, 2015

The Rural Schools Collaborative announced its Grants in Place program for rural classroom teachers. Grants in Place will provide up to twenty grants for innovative place-based education projects. Funding will be awarded for projects that will commence in Fall 2015. 


April 7, 2015 is Deadline to Apply for K-12 Science and Audio-Visual Teacher-in-Residence Positions

The Educational Outreach Division of the Library of Congress is seeking applications from current K-12 teachers or library/media specialists for two Teacher-in-Residence positions during the 2015-16 school year.


Read about the U.S. Department of Education's Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request

Critical investments in preschool, K-12 and higher education are among the highlights of the Department of Education's 2016 budget request.


Register Now for IEL's March 17 Webinar: My Brother's Keeper and Community Schools

This upcoming webinar will focus on strategies to effectively reach young men of color in community schools through the lens of President Obama's initiative known as My Brother's Keeper. Webinar presenters will also discuss how to leverage community partnerships to address racial and educational disparities.


Mark Your Calendar: March 4th and March 5th Webinars Focus on Rural Education Issues

The Regional Education Laboratories (REL) are presenting webinars which focus on rural education topics. REL Central will present the March 4 Webinar. REL Southwest will host the March 5 Webinar.


National Education Association Celebrates Read Across America on March 2, 2015

The Rural School and Community Trust joins the National Education Association (NEA) in commemorating Read Across America on Monday, March 2, 2015.


Rural Trust Joins Coalition in Push for Equal Access to Well-Prepared and Effective Educators For Each and Every Child

On October 7, 2014, the Rural School and Community Trust joined the Coalition for Teaching Quality on Capitol Hill in urging Congress to push for a comprehensive road map for ensuring there are well-prepared and effective educators for each student, regardless of need, color or disability.


Register Now for Feb. 12 Webinar: Rural Challenges and Resources Needed for Dropout Prevention

The high school dropout problem presents unique challenges for rural schools and communities. This Feb. 12 webinar will reveal the severity of the dropout problem in rural America, risk factors for dropping out, and best-practice solutions.


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.


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

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


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

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


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


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

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


Latest School Tragedy: Many Questions, Few Answers

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


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.


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.


Register Now for December 10 NCEEP Webinar: Issues, Challenges and Successes for GEAR UP Programs in Rural Areas

Throughout the United States, GEAR UP programs in rural communities face unique challenges trying to facilitate college readiness and access for low-income, first-generation students, ranging from transportation issues, teacher quality and turnover, and inadequate K-12 resources and rigor to lack of post-secondary education and economic development opportunities.

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.


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 School and Community Trust to Participate in Rural Education National Forum, Oct. 27-28

The Rural Education National Forum, hosted by Battelle for Kids, offers participants an opportunity to share successful models of transformation and highlight powerful instructional and leadership practices underway in rural districts across the country. Rural Trust Communications Director, Mr. Robert Mahaffey will participate in panel discussions at the Columbus, Ohio event.


Report Reveals that Rural Children More Likely to Rely on Medicaid and State-Funded Insurance Programs than their Urban Counterparts

On September 10, 2014, First Focus, a children's advocacy organization, released a report which shows that children in rural communities are more likely than their urban counterparts to get health care through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid.


Nominations for the 2015 Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship in Education Leadership are Now Being Accepted

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has announced a grant of nearly $14.5 million from the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment to expand its MBA program in education leadership.


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.


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.


Why Rural Matters 2013-14 Released

The Rural Trust releases Why Rural Matters 2013–14.


Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Proposal Eliminates Impact Aid Section 8002 Funding

The Administration's Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal request recommends the elimination of funding for Impact Aid, Section 8002 (Federal Properties) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).


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.


Partnerships, NOT Pushouts: New "Whole-Child" Policy Guide for School Board Members

On April 22, 2014, a new "Whole-Child" policy guide was released which details how school board members can lead the way in securing a high-quality education for each and every student in their district.


Thirty-one Rural Teachers Awarded Travel Fellowships

Thirty-one rural teachers have been selected for the 2014 class of Rural Trust Global Teacher Fellows. The awards, totaling nearly $200,000, will enable Fellows to travel to Africa, Asia, Australia, Canada, Central America, and Europe.


CNCS Announces FY 2014 Funding Opportunity for Indian Tribes

With the FY 2014 AmeriCorps Indian Tribes Notice of Funding Opportunity, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) seeks to prioritize the investment of national service resources in economic opportunity, education, veterans and military families, and disaster services in Native American communities.


Narrowing the Achievement Gap: Grade-level Reading by the End of Third Grade

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative effort by foundations, nonprofit partners, states and communities across the nation to ensure that more children in low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career, and active citizenship.


U.S. Department of Education Announces Start of 2014 Investing in Innovation (i3) Grant Competition

On March 14, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education announced the start of the $134 million 2014 Investing in Innovation (i3) grant competition with the release of the program's invitation for pre-applications for the i3 Development grants (up to $3,000,000 each).


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.


Discipline, Teachers, Curriculum, Preschool: Equity a Big Challenge in U.S. Schools

Comprehensive data from all U.S. public schools demonstrates that some groups of students consistently face challenges to educational opportunity in school.


School Funding Unconstitutional in Kansas

The Kansas Supreme Court has found the state is failing to meet its constitutional requirement to provide equitable funding for school districts.


Report Finds Negative Effects of Recession on School Funding

A recent report finds that education funding has declined in most states since the Great Recession—and that funding has become less fair.


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.


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


Deadline for White House Student Film Festival Submissions: January 29, 2014

The White House announced its first video contest created just for K-12 students. Submissions should highlight the power of technology in schools.
Date: January 02, 2014
Related Categories: Administrator, Capacity Building, Elected Official/Staff, Media, Parent, Student, Teacher
Related Tags: K-12, Technology


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Register Now for PISA Day, Dec. 3, 2013, Live Digital Event

You are invited to participate in PISA Day 2013: Learning Beyond the Rankings. This national digital event, streamed live at PISADay.org, will examine the results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and their implications for U.S. education policy.


Rural Trust Participates in Pathways to Partnership Bus Tour Across California

Between October 14 and 16, the Rural Trust participated in Pathways to Partnership: Community Schools Strategies in Action, a three-day, statewide bus tour which explored how the community schools strategy is being implemented in California.


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.


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.


Just Released: 2013 PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools

The Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools is an annual poll that allows educators and policy makers to track public opinion about this nation’s public schools.


Schools That Change Communities to be Re-Broadcast on Sept. 25, 26 and Oct. 2, 2013

The documentary film, Schools That Change Communities will be re-broadcast on PBS World stations throughout New England, New York, Eastern Pennsylvania, the South, the Midwest and the Southwest. The airing schedule is as follows: 9/25 at 6 pm and 9 pm; 9/26, at 2 am, 10 am, and 4 pm, 10/2 at 2 am, 10 am, and 4 pm. Viewers should check local listings as times may vary slightly by region of the country.


Rural Trust Special Report on School Violence

Violence in U.S. Schools, 1975-2013This report updates the March special edition of RPM and includes information on violent incidents, updated graphics, and policy recommendations.


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?


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.


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.


Leadership Conference Education Fund releases report, Reversing the Rising Tide of Inequality: Achieving Educational Equity for Each and Every Child

Reversing the Rising Tide of Inequality On April 15, 2013, the Leadership Conference Education Fund released their report, “Reversing the Rising Tide of Inequality: Achieving Educational Equity for Each and Every Child,” – a call to action to provide each and every child the education she or he deserves.


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.


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.


Department of Education's Equity Commission Releases, "For Each and Every Child"

For Each And Every Child” On February 19, 2013, the Co-chairs of the Equity and Excellence commission presented their report to Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. The Commission's report, “For Each and Every Child,” highlights the need to eliminate “education disparities affecting millions of underserved and disadvantaged students.” Rural Trust Executive Director and Capacity Building Director, Dr. Doris Terry Williams was appointed to the Commission in 2011.


Rural School Innovation Webinar: The STAR School

The featured innovation of this Rural School Innovations Series Webinar from February 2013 was the STAR School, and focused on the "3-to-3rd " Math Project.


Rural School Innovations Webinar: The STAR School

The featured innovation of this Rural School Innovations Series Webinar from February 2013 was Northern Arizona's STAR School and its 3-to-3rd Math Project.


Rural Education Conference Set for April 3-4, 2013

The National Center for Research on Rural Education will assemble researchers, practitioners and policymakers from across the country to discuss the factors influencing rural K-12 students' academic success at a conference to be held April 3–4, 2013, in Omaha.


Schools That Change Communities

This interesting one-hour documentary is now airing and will continue to air on many PBS stations around the country. Between January 30 and February 2, 2013, the program will broadcast on a large number of PBS stations that carry PBS World. Viewers should check local listings for the exact dates and times in their viewing area.


Rural Trust Extends Application Deadline for 2013 Global Teacher Fellowship Program

The application deadline for Rural Trust's Global Teacher Fellowship program has been extended to Jan. 30, 2013.


ED Teaching Ambassador Fellowship Applications due Jan. 29, 2013

The applications for 2013-2014 U.S. Department of Education Washington, DC, and Classroom Teaching Ambassador Fellowship are now available. The application period will close on January 29, 2013.


The Experiences of Rural LGBT Youth

Strengths and Silences: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students in Rural and Small Town SchoolsStrengths and Silences: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students in Rural and Small Town Schools underscores the need for educators and policymakers to do more to address the safety risks for LGBT students in rural and small town schools.


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


Voters Consider Ballot Initiatives on Education

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


"Utilizing the Village" Rural Dropout Prevention Webinar Set for October 12

Utilizing the Village: Using Early Warning Indicators and Interventions to Help Rural Students Succeed in School is the second of a three-session webinar series on rural dropout prevention and recovery.


Rural School Innovation Webinar: Parents as Teachers

The featured innovation of this Rural School Innovations Series Webinar from June 2012 was Parents as Teachers, and focused on the i3 "Improving Educational Outcomes for American Indian Children" project, named BabyFACE.


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.


"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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


Children's Defense Fund National Conference: July 22-25, 2012

Make plans now for the 2012 Children's Defense Fund National Conference, set for July 22–25 in  Cincinnati, Ohio.


Why Rural Matters 2011-12: Statistical Indicators of the Condition of Rural Education in the 50 States

WhyRural Matters 2011-12Why Rural Matters 2011–12 is the sixth in a series of biennial reports analyzing the contexts and conditions of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the need for policymakers to address rural education issues in their respective states.


Why Rural Matters 2011-12 Press Release

Nearly one in four American children attend rural schools and enrollment is growing at a faster rate in rural school districts than in all other places combined, according to Why Rural Matters 2011–12, a biennial report by the Rural School and Community Trust.


Rural Trust Launches Global Teacher Fellowship Program

Get ready for 2012! The Rural Trust's Global Teacher Fellowship program is now accepting applications for the Summer 2012 Fellowships.


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.


Early Childhood Education in Rural Communities

Early Childhood Education in Rural CommunitiesThe Rural Trust's Doris Terry Williams and UNCF's Tammy L. Mann edited this monograph on the current status of early childhood education in rural communities.


Positive New Developments in the Formula Fairness Campaign

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


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.


All Children are Equal Act Introduced

The All Children are Equal (ACE) Act was introduced July 12 in the U.S. House of Representatives by 11 original co-sponsors led by Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA).


Every Child in Every Neighborhood

“Every Child in Every Neighborhood” is a video from the Oakland Unified School District that outlines their efforts to transform that school system into a full-service community school district.


The Influence of Teachers: Reflections on Teaching and Leadership

The Influence of Teachers: Reflections on Teaching and LeadershipIn this urgent and insightful book, John Merrow draws on his experience as a reporter for PBS and NPR to examine this question and others, and offer possibilities and solutions for a new education system.


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.  


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.


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.


Rural School Innovations Webinar: The New England Network for Personalization and Performance

The New England Network for Personalization and Performance (NETWORK), created by the Plymouth, Massachusetts School District and the Center for Secondary School Redesign, Inc. (CSSR), was the focus of the third Rural School and Community Trust webinar in the 2010-2011 Rural School Innovations Webinar Series.


Join Marty Strange in a Kappan Conversation

Rural Trust Policy Director Marty Strange is the featured guest in a Kappan Conversation at 4 p.m. ET, Thursday, March 24. Register by March 22 to take part in this special webinar on "Finding Fairness for Rural Students."


Rural School Innovations Webinar: Search Institute's "Building Assets-Reducing Risks"

Search Institute's "Building Assets-Reducing Risks Program: Replication and Expansion of an Effective Strategy to Turn Around Low-Achieving Schools" was the focus of this Rural School Innovations Webinar from the Rural Trust.


The Rural Solution: How Community Schools Can Reinvigorate Rural Education

Doris Terry Williams, executive director of the Rural School and Community Trust and director of the Trust's Capacity Building Program, explains the value of full-service community schools in rural areas in this report from the Center for American Progress.


Research Raises Doubts About Benefits of Consolidation

Has the time for consolidation come and gone? Research shows that state policies that broadly push mergers of schools and districts will not save money and will likely lower the quality of education — especially for the poor.


Rural Trust Executive Director Appointed to Department of Education's Equity and Excellence Commission

Doris Terry Williams, executive director of the Rural School and Community Trust and director of the Trust's Capacity Building Program, has been appointed to the Department of Education’s Equity and Excellence Commission.


Taking Advantage: The Rural Competitive Preference in the Investing in Innovation Program

Taking Advantage: The Rural Competitive Preference in the Investing in Innovation ProgramThis Rural Trust report analyzes the impact of the rural competitive preference in the first round of i3 grants issued by the U.S. Department of Education. The analysis considers whether the rural claim was well-made by the applicants and well-evaluated by the readers. In short, the federal grant program did little to attract authentically rural innovations to address the challenges of high-needs rural schools.


Rural School Innovations Webinar: "Schools to Watch"

“Schools to Watch: School Transformation Network" was the theme of the first event in the Rural Trust's 2010-2011 Rural School Innovations Webinar Series. Audio and Presentation PDF Now Available!.


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.


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....


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....


The Rural Dropout Problem: An Invisible Achievement Gap

This report reviews high school dropout rates and related factors in rural high schools throughout 15 Southern and Southwestern states. These schools are in districts that are among the 800 rural districts with the highest student poverty rate nationally. Seventy-seven percent of the "Rural 800" districts and 87 percent of the students in them are in these fifteen targeted states.


Rural School Districts Eligible for Federal i3 Grant Application Assistance

Through a new $1.4 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Rural School and Community Trust will address provide customized technical assistance for rural school districts seeking i3 grants.
     For more information regarding technical assistance support through the Kellogg grant, please complete this short questionnaire (MSWord document) and return it via email.


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...


Education Week Reports on Why Rural Matters 2009

Education WeekEducation Week features Why Rural Matters 2009 in this October 28, 2009 article. In "Study Urges Regional Focus on Rural Schools," Education Week's Michelle R. Davis talks with Jerry D. Johnson, Rural Trust Policy Research and Analysis Manager, and Rural Trust Policy Director Marty Strange.
Date: November 22, 2009
Related Categories: Media, What's New
Related Tags: Why Rural Matters


Rural School and Community Trust Capitol Hill Briefing

Monday, November 16, 2009, 3:00-4:00pm EST, the Rural School and Community Trust will present a Capitol Hill briefing to discuss findings from its recent research report Why Rural Matters 2009.


Why Rural Matters 2009: State and Regional Challenges and Opportunities

Why Rural Matters 2009Why Rural Matters 2009 is the fifth in a series of biennial reports analyzing the contexts and conditions of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the need for policymakers to address rural education issues in their respective states.


Rural Schools Partnership Launched

Rural Schools PartnershipThe Community Foundation of the Ozarks has launched the Rural Schools Partnership, a comprehensive effort to enhance rural education through alternative resource development, collaboration, and place-based education strategies. The Rural Trust is a partner in this program.


New Leadership at the Rural School and Community Trust

Doris Terry Williams, Ed.D., Director of Capacity Building and a veteran staff member of the Rural School and Community Trust, became the organization’s Executive Director following the retirement of Rachel B. Tompkins, Ed.D., who served as president for more than a decade and will retain the title of Senior Fellow.
Date: August 12, 2009
Related Categories: Media, What's New
Related Tags: Updates


REWG 2009 Photo Gallery

Photos from the April 2009 Rural Education Working Group Conference, held at the Kanuga Conference Center near Hendersonville, North Carolina.


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...


In Memoriam:

Leonore Annenberg
(1918-2009)

On behalf of the Rural School and Community Trust family, we add our voice of condolence and heartfelt gratitude to countless others who have been enriched by the thoughtful generosity of Leonore Annenberg.
Date: March 25, 2009
Related Categories: Media
Related Tags: Annenberg Public Policy Center, School-Community Partnerships


Maine Consolidation Fight Twists Again

Maine’s forced school district consolidation process continues down its rocky road.


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).


Why Rural Matters 2007: The Realities of Rural Education Growth

Why Rural Matters 2007Why Rural Matters 2007 is the fourth in a series of biennial reports analyzing the importance of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the urgency for policymakers in each state to address rural education issues.


The Case for An Office of Rural Education Policy Research in the U.S. Department of Education

The Case for An Office of Rural Education Policy Research in the U.S. Department of Education. Read the proposal and email your comments to info@ruraledu.org


Pennsylvania School Funding Formula Report

Pennsylvania School Funding ReportPennsylvania has enacted substantial changes in its school funding formula, including a factor that adjusts a district's state aid based on estimates of the relative cost of hiring teachers in that particular district compared to the cost of hiring equally qualified teachers in other districts.


Rural Trust President Rachel Tompkins Promoting National Push for Advanced Certification for Educational Leaders

Rachel Tompkins, president of the Rural School and Community Trust, is a member of a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ steering committee composed of educational and business leaders overseeing a national effort to develop an advanced certification for educational leaders. This initiative will include an advanced certification for both principals and teacher leaders.
Date: February 26, 2009
Related Categories: Media, Teacher
Related Tags: Teacher Issues


About the Rural School Innovation Network

The Rural School and Community Trust invites you to join the Rural School Innovation Network (RSIN). This new initiative is a mutual-aid network for sharing innovations that improve rural education, especially in the poorest rural communities in the United States. As an alliance of rural education and community advocates, the RSIN will collectively work to connect schools with their communities to improve the outcomes for school-aged children and young adults.


An Analysis of the Impacts of the AIR Funding Formula Proposal on New Mexico School Districts

Impacts of the AIR Funding Formula Proposal on New Mexico School DistrictsAn Analysis of the Impacts of the AIR Funding Formula Proposal on New Mexico School Districts, a report of the Rural School and Community Trust and the Ben Lujan Leadership and Public Policy Institute, presents findings from an investigation of the impact of the funding formula proposal commissioned by the New Mexico Funding Formula Task Force (FFTF) and developed by American Institutes of Research (AIR).


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...


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…


RSIN Membership Brochure

The Rural School Innovation Network (RSIN) is a network of schools and school districts striving for excellence in challenging circumstances. The Membership Brochure describes benefits of this program.


Rachel's Notes: December 4, 2008

Thoughts on President-Elect Obama's choice for Secretary of Education, potential goals for the incoming administration, analysis of the election, and the case for an Office of Rural Education Policy Research in the U.S. Department of Education.


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.


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...


Rachel's Notes: October 22, 2008

The Forum for Education and Democracy hosted another briefing on Capital Hill last week that was first rate. The topic "Assessments for Learning: A Briefing on Performance-Based Assessments" is close to our hearts here at the Rural Trust.



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...


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.


Why Rural Matters 2007: Gauge and Indicator Results

Gauge and Indicator Results from Why Rural Matters 2007, including six focus areas: Importance, Socioeconomic Challenges, Student Diversity, Policy Context, Outcomes, and Rural Education Priority.


Why Rural Matters 2007: Major Findings

Major findings from Why Rural Matters 2007: The Realities of Rural Education Growth.


Why Rural Matters 2007: Press Room

Media links and information for Why Rural Matters 2007: The Realities of Rural Education Growth.


Why Rural Matters 2007: Print Edition

Why Rural Matters 2007: Print EditionWhy Rural Matters 2007: The Realities of Rural Education Growth is a snapshot of rural education that provides essential information on the condition of rural education in the 50 states and uncovers new trends and challenges facing rural educators.


Riding to School in Slow Motion

Riding to School in Slow MotionStudents who attend consolidated rural high schools face longer bus rides and are less likely to participate in extra-curricular activities because of the challenge of transportation. This is one finding in Slow Motion: Traveling by School Bus in Consolidated Districts in West Virginia. Survey results show that high school students who ride the bus and attend consolidated high schools lose an average of 49 minutes each day, compared to students who have other forms of transportation in those same districts. Though the report focuses specifically on consolidation outcomes in West Virginia, the lessons learned are a warning to any state that has pursued or is considering pursuing consolidation as an education policy.


Riding to School in Slow Motion: West Virginia Long Bus Rides Negatively Impact Students, Schools

Students who attend consolidated rural high schools face longer bus rides and are less likely to participate in extra-curricular activities because of the challenge of transportation.
Date: March 15, 2007
Related Categories: Media
Related Tags: RT Policy Department


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....


Recommendations for Improvements to No Child Left Behind

The Rural Trust recommends an alternative approach to six areas of NCLB in order to take into account the unique circumstances of rural schools and rural students.


Why Small Schools Work: Ten Reasons Small Schools Positively Impact Students and their Learning

While numerous studies have documented that small schools effectively boost student achievement, especially among at-risk students, a new report now summarizes the vast research literature that explains just why small works in schooling.


District Reorganization Leads to School Closures in Arkansas, Especially in High Poverty and African-American Communities

Contrary to assurances from school reorganization advocates, state-mandated annexation and consolidation of Arkansas school districts has resulted in school closings, according to a new study prepared for Arkansas Advocates for Community and Rural Education by a national nonprofit organization.
Date: May 24, 2006
Related Categories: Media
Related Tags: RT Policy Department


Fiscal Inequity, Achievement Gaps Linked in Rural Oregon

As state courts being to grapple with Oregon's school funding system, a new report concludes that inequalities in the distribution of both funding and qualified teachers are primary forces behind achievement gaps in rural Oregon. Using statewide data, the report also finds that these inequities are due to sharp differences in local wealth that state funding does not offset.
Date: March 31, 2006
Related Categories: Media
Related Tags: PDF


Bigger Schools, More Classes Not Likely to Boost Achievement in Iowa's Schools

Consolidating high schools and offering more classes will not likely raise student achievement, according to a new study of Iowa schools by a national nonprofit organization.
Date: March 31, 2006
Related Categories: Media
Related Tags: RT Policy Department


20 Strategies to Address Declining Enrollment

For those rural schools and communities across the country facing declining student enrollment, there are no easy answers. But there are steps policymakers and communities can take to help cushion the negative impact of declining enrollment on schools to ensure that "no child left behind" also means "no place left behind." 20 Strategies to Address Declining Enrollment details 20 policies that provide students in communities experiencing declining enrollment with a high quality education and also buy time for communities to rebound, improve, or adjust to changes in population and revenue.


Mississippi's Achievement Gaps Linked to Gaps in Funding and Teacher Quality

(Washington, DC)—As the MAEP (Mississippi Adequate Education Program) Committee heads into a hearing on Monday November 28 to hear input and feedback from education stakeholders, a new report suggests that the current distributions of both school funding and qualified teachers are primary forces behind Mississippi's achievement gaps.
Date: November 15, 2005
Related Categories: Media
Related Tags: PDF, RT Policy Department


The Rural Perspective on Educational Adequacy

As states across the nation set high academic standards and commit themselves to the idea that all children can succeed in public schools, a new issue has emerged in state policy debates: How much does it cost to offer all students the opportunity to obtain a high quality education? This so called "educational adequacy" movement is rapidly gaining momentum. But while the drive for educational adequacy is laudable, its ultimate success for rural students will only be realized if state policymakers pay particular attention to the unique circumstances and needs of rural communities, schools, and students.
Date: July 28, 2005
Related Categories: Media
Related Tags: PDF, RT Policy Department


The Impact of Arkansas' Act 60 on African-American School Leadership and Racial Composition of School Districts

The Impact of Arkansas' Act 60This report examines the impact of Arkansas' Act 60 (2004) on the racial composition of the student population, elected school boards, and administrative leadership of 27 districts affected by consolidations involving one or more districts with an African-American majority.


Why Rural Matters 2005: The Facts About Rural Education in the 50 States

Why Rural Matters 2005Why Rural Matters 2005 is the third in a series of reports analyzing the importance of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the urgency with which policymakers in each state should address the problems of rural education.


Why Rural Matters 2005: News Conference Transcript

This transcript of the virtual news conference for Why Rural Matters 2005 features Rachel Tompkins, Ed.D., President, Rural School and Community Trust; Jerry Johnson, Ed.D., State and Regional Policy Studies Manager; and Marty Strange, Director of Policy Programs at the Rural Trust.


Why Rural Matters 2005: Print Edition

Why Rural Matters 2005: Print EditionWhy Rural Matters 2005 is the third in a series of reports analyzing the importance of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the urgency with which policymakers in each state should address the problems of rural education.


Best Fiscal Management Practices for Rural Schools

Best Fiscal Management Practices for Rural SchoolsThis report highlights some of the leading policy issues faced by education stakeholders and presents rural-specific strategies to ensure both sound fiscal management practices and a high quality education for all students. To complement the report, the Rural Trust offers a workshop that can be tailored to both meet the needs of various constituencies and be responsive to context and need.


Nebraska Schools Facing Toughest Challenge Get Least Money

Washington, DC—Nebraska school systems with the lowest test scores serve more students who face socioeconomic barriers to academic achievement than do other Nebraska schools, but have to do it with less money, according to a new analysis.
Date: October 21, 2004
Related Categories: Media
Related Tags: RT Policy Department


Rural School Facilities: State Policies that Provide Students with an Environment to Promote Learning

Rural School FacilitiesEven though states nationwide spend $30 billion annually on school facilities, rural schools are frequently ignored, neglected, or under-funded--a condition that negatively impacts student learning, according to this policy report from the Rural Trust. The report chronicles the challenges faced by rural school districts to build and maintain quality schools and offers policy options for fair and effective state school facilities programs.


School District Consolidation in Arkansas

School District Consolidation in ArkansasIn response to an Arkansas Supreme Court order to alter the state's school funding system, Governor Mike Huckabee and others have proposed consolidating many small school districts. This report analyzes financial and academic data of all Arkansas districts and evaluates several approaches to district consolidation.


The Fiscal Impacts of School Consolidation: Research Based Conclusions

Consolidation proponents often argue that consolidating schools and/or districts will lower per pupil costs. But a stream of studies over half a century casts doubts on this assumption.


Save a Penny, Lose a School: The Real Cost of Deferred Maintenance

This policy brief describes the problem of deferred maintenance for school facilities, especially from the perspective of small rural districts. It examines the extent, causes, and consequences of deferred maintenance as well as recommendations for policy, practice, and funding that can help correct this national problem.


Distance Learning Technologies: Giving Small Schools Big Capabilities

In school and district consolidation, the well-documented benefits of small schools to students and their communities are lost. It doesn't have to be this way. Other alternatives, such as distance learning, are both possible and preferable. Distance learning can provide students access to a virtually unlimited curriculum while retaining the benefits of small, local schools. But distance learning can be done well, or badly. Here, too, there are choices.


Closing Costs: A Summary of an Award Winning Look at School Consolidation in West Virginia, a State Where It Has Been Tried Aggressively

Few states have pursued consolidation of rural schools more aggressively than West Virginia. With the promise of broader curriculum and huge tax savings, the state has closed more than 300 schools, one in every five, since 1990. In 2002, the Charleston Gazette investigated the outcomes of the state's consolidation efforts in the series, "Closing Costs."


Dollars and Sense: The Cost Effectiveness of Small Schools

Dollars and SenseDollars & Sense is a collaborative effort of the KnowledgeWorks Foundation, the Rural School and Community Trust, and Concordia, Inc. A team of nine researchers with expertise in education, architecture, and quantitative research challenge the common belief that big schools are cheaper to build and maintain than are small ones. Their conclusion: investing tax dollars in small schools makes good economic sense.


The Rural School Bus Ride in Five States

Rural School Bus Ride in Five StatesThis report provides the first detailed picture of the features of the rural school bus ride and reveals troubling information about the long commutes adults force on rural children.


School Consolidation and Transportation Policy: An Empirical and Institutional Analysis

School Consolidation and Transportation PolicyOffering new empirical and theoretical insights into school and district consolidation across the country, this study traces actual transportation costs across states and the relationship between transportation and instructional costs. They posit that the consolidation and transportation issues are linked and that together they have constrained instructional opportunities for rural children.


Our Challenge: To Set the Highest Possible National Standard — for Human Relationships

From November of 1998 through February of 1999, the Rural Challenge hosted an online conversation to raise the issue of community input in the standards movement that is sweeping the country. A highlight of the event was a January 13th video conference involving over 200 participants in seven sites around the U.S. with hundreds of others following the conversation from their computers. This is the transcript the keynote address given by Debra Meier.


School Size, School Climate, and Student Performance

Excerpted from Kathleen Cotton, School Size, School Climate, and Student Performance (Portland, OR: NWREL), 1996, pp 10-11, a comprehensive review of formal research studies on school size.