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Leveraging Change: Increasing Access to Arts Education in Rural Areas

Leveraging Change: Increasing Access to Arts Education in Rural AreasLeveraging Change: Increasing Access to Arts Education in Rural Areas reports that promising practices and opportunities for expanding access to arts education include implementing placemaking strategies, creating collaborative rural networks, and using technology to span geographic divides. 


Why Rural Matters 2015-2016 Capitol Hill briefing to be held April 3, 2017

Why Rural Matters 2015-2016 is the eighth 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.


Grant Applications for FY 16 Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) due July 7, 2016

On May 23, 2016, the Teacher Quality Programs Office announced the FY 16 Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant competition. The TQP FY 16 grant competition has an estimated $5,000,000 and anticipates making 3-5 new awards that will increase student achievement by improving the quality of new prospective teachers.


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.


Student Literacy Blossoms at Rural Schools' Summer Learning Labs

Literacy learning labs, held this summer in 21 rural schools in five states, gave students a safe space to read and write and gave teachers a chance to collaborate and try new strategies.


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 Community Schools Are Invited to Submit Their School's Data into CCS Directory

The Coalition for Community Schools invites rural community schools to participate in the annual Community Schools Directory. The purpose of this directory is to ascertain the number, location, and scope of community schools in the United States. By participating, rural school administrators can let their voices be heard and connect with others who are facing similar challenges.


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. 


U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm to School Grant Applications Due May 20, 2015

On March 16, 2015, the US Department of Agriculture released the Fiscal Year 2016 Farm to School Grant Applications. The purpose of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program is to assist eligible entities in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools.


U.S. Department of Agriculture Offers Strategies for Starting or Expanding a Farm to School Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School webinar series will offer helpful guidance on how schools can start or expand their farm to school program in 2015. This 11-part webinar series will help participants develop new strategies for bringing local foods into the lunchroom and will include topics like building a team, menu planning and program sustainability.


Register Now for April 8 Webinar: Closing the Achievement Gap in Rural Districts: Lessons from Research and the Field

Hosted by the Regional Education Laboratory (REL) Central at Marzano Research, this April 8 webinar will provide participants with research and information about the instructional and organizational practices of rural districts that have closed the achievement gap.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


Proposals due Sept. 5, 2014: Global Teacher Fellowship Program Evaluation

In many rural schools and communities, highly effective educators are difficult to recruit and retain. This challenge is particularly debilitating in remote rural communities and in places with high concentrations of children of color and poverty. The Rural Trust's goal is to develop and support highly effective teachers and leaders who are particularly disposed to and skilled at teaching, learning, and living in rural places.


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).


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.


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.


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.


Administration Announces "Made in Rural America" Export and Investment Initiative

On February 7, 2014, the President directed his Administration, working through the White House Rural Council, to lead a new "Made in Rural America" export and investment initiative.


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.


Teachers for Global Classrooms Now Accepting Grant Applications for 2014-15

The Teachers for Global Classrooms (TGC) Program provides a year-long professional development opportunity for middle and high school teachers from the United States to participate in a program aimed at globalizing teaching and learning in their classrooms.


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.


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.


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.


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


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 High Schools Can Use OECD Test to Gauge and Improve Student Achievement

The Rural School and Community Trust is very pleased to announce our endorsement and enthusiastic support for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Test for Schools.


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.


How Scaling Up Reading Recovery is Meeting the Needs of Students in Rural Schools

A part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund and private funders are providing grantees the opportunity to make significant strides in education. The Ohio University was among those applicants for which the Rural Trust provided funding support.


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.


How i3 Grantees are Successfully Improving Student Achievement in Low-Performing Middle-Grade Schools

A part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund and private funders are providing grantees the opportunity to make significant strides in education. The National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform was among those applicants for which the Rural Trust provided funding support.


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.


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.


Foundation for Rural Services Grant Proposals Due Oct. 1, 2013

The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS), in cooperation with the NTCA, The Rural Broadband Association, seeks to sustain and enhance the quality of life throughout rural America by advancing an understanding of rural telecommunications issues.


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.


Register for Racial Healing Network Regional Calls

The Within Our Lifetime Network invites you to connect with others in your region who are committed to ending the impact of racism in our lifetime. The Within Our Lifetime Network,  which works to promotes racial healing and racial equity, invites you to join one of six scheduled calls in early September.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Now Archived: Utilizing the Village Rural Dropout Prevention Webinar

On February 28, 2013 from 1:30-3:00 p.m. EST, the U.S. Department of Education, with Jobs for the Future, sponsored the third of a three-session series on rural dropout prevention and recovery, entitled: Utilizing the Village: Effective Reengagement and Recovery Programming in Rural Communities



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.


"Utilizing the Village" Rural Dropout Prevention Webinar Set for February 28

Utilizing the Village: Effective Reengagement and Recovery Programming in Rural Communities is the last in a three-session webinar series on rural dropout prevention and recovery...


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


Global Citizen Year: Apply by Nov. 30 for 2014 Program

A year outside the traditional classroom environment before college impacts your future in ways you can hardly yet imagine.


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.


Utilizing the Village: Building Support for Students' Success in Rural Communities

Utilizing the Village: Building Support for Students Success' in Rural Communities is a three-part webinar series focused on rural dropout prevention and recovery.


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.


"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.


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.


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. 


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 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.


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.


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.


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.


Dropout Prevention Webinar Set for May 3

The Rural Trust's Doris Terry Williams will be a presenter at the first of three webinars focusing on dropout prevention and recovery work.


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.


2012 i3 Competition: Resources, Peer Reviewers, and Application Dates

The U.S. Department of Education Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) website lists deadlines for applications and includes an archive of webinars and other resources.


i3 Development Grant Preapplication Deadline

April 9 is the deadline for i3 Preapplications for the U.S. Department of Education's 2012 Investing in Innovation grant competition.


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 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.


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.


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.


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

The Niswonger Foundation's Northeast Tennessee College and Career Ready Consortium was the focus of the fourth Rural School and Community Trust webinar in the 2010-2011 Rural School Innovations Webinar Series.


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.


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).


Promise Neighborhoods Grant Applications Due Sept. 6

Applications are available for phase two of the Promise Neighborhoods program. The program will again have Absolute Priorities for serving rural and tribal communities.


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.


Nominate a Rural Champion of Change

Do you know someone who is doing extraordinary things to make a difference in their rural community? Nominate them to be a Champion of Change.


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.


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.


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.


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."


Consolidation Fight-Back Toolkit

The documents in this Consolidation Toolkit, prepared by the policy staff of the Rural School and Community Trust, can help you educate your fellow citizens and the policymakers who have the final say in consolidation decisions.


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.


New Publication on EITC


The Foundation for the Mid South just released Earned Income Tax Credit: Working Hands Getting a Hand Up to share information on this valuable anti-poverty tool helping working, low-income people keep more of their earnings.
Date: January 13, 2011
Related Categories: Community Advocate, Networks/Groups, Parent, Resource Center, What's New
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, Poverty


Rural New York School Recruits Overseas Students

Dwindling populations in small towns have caused hundreds of districts to consolidate their schools and bus kids long distances to bigger schools. But some remote communities are fighting back with a new idea to fill their empty classrooms: They're recruiting international students


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.


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....


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....


Full Service Community Schools Grants Due July 23

The U.S. Department of Education has released the Full Service Community Schools (FSCS) grant. The Notice of Intent to Apply deadline is June 23; the application deadline is July 23, 2010.


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.


Education Official Visits Rural Schools Partnership Conference

The newly christened Ozarks Teacher Corps is an innovative partnership that will be worth watching to see if it can be replicated in other rural areas, said John White, a U.S. Department of Education leader who attended the annual Rural Schools Partnership conference on May 6, 2010 in Thomasville, Mo.


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.


Northern State University Seeking Dean School of Education

South Dakota's Northern State University has posted an employment opportunity for Dean, School of Education.
Date: December 16, 2009
Related Categories: Administrator, Networks/Groups, Teacher, What's New
Related Tags: Employment Opportunities


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.


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…"


Rural Trust Awarded Learn and Serve Grant; Will Create Youth Network in 7 Rural Communities

Learn and Serve AmericaThe Rural School and Community Trust has been awarded a Learn and Serve America Community-Based grant by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a 3-year award valued at up to $580,000.


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.


REWG 2009 Photo Gallery

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


Rural South Carolinians Help District Rethink Consolidation

Communities pulled together in South Carolina to stop the closure of their schools…


Wisconsin Network Proposes New Funding Plan

Wisconsin group proposes comprehensive new funding plan for schools...


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…


Rural Education Working Group 2009: "Healthy Rural Schools, Healthy Rural Communities"

You are invited to share and learn at the eighth annual Rural Education Working Group meeting of rural activists from across the United States gathered at Kanuga Conference Center in the beautiful North Carolina mountains near Hendersonville, NC, April 19-21, 2009.


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…


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.


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.


Invitation to Join

An Invitation from the Director


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...



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...


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.



RSIN Webinar: School Consolidation, October 22, 2008

School Consolidation was the topic of the October 2009 Rural School Innovation Network webinar. Across the nation, states are considering arguments for and against school closures.


Rural School Funding News: Georgia Case Withdrawn

Georgia case likely to be re-filed...


Rachel's Notes: October 9, 2008

In recent months, the outline of a new Elementary and Secondary Education Act has begun to take shape. It will not be called No Child Left Behind and will likely go further in actually helping children learn.



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.


Rachel's Notes: June 5, 2008

President of the Rural School and Community Trust, Rachel Tompkins posts her musings for your consideration, push back and feedback every couple of weeks.


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...


RSIN Webinar: Engaging Communities to Help Every Child Succeed, May 29, 2008

Learn how local groups have engaged large numbers of citizens and organizations and partnered with schools to institute strong, in-school and out-of-school programs to ensure the success of every child.


RSIN Webinar: Title I Funding Formula Issues Affecting Rural Districts, March 26, 2008

Review of the current formula and its bias against small districts.


Rachel's Notes: February 20, 2008

President of the Rural School and Community Trust, Rachel Tompkins posts her musings for your consideration, push back and feedback every couple of weeks.


Connecting School and Community in Northeastern North Carolina

The Rural School and Community Trust is working in North Carolina to build the capacity of grassroots leaders and community-based organizations to engage in local school reform in vulnerable rural communities, build strong out-of-school supports for student learning, and establish a network of rural activists who will develop and advocate for policies and practices to improve education for students throughout the state.


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.


The Hobbit Effect: Why Small Works in Public Schools

The Hobbit Effect: Why Small Works in Public SchoolsWhile numerous studies have documented that small schools effectively boost student achievement, especially among at-risk students, our report, The Hobbit Effect: Why Small Works in Public Schools summarizes the vast research literature that explains just why small works in schooling, identifying ten research-based attributes of small schools that are proven to have a positive impact on kids and their learning.


An Investigation of School Closures Resulting from Forced District Reorganization in Arkansas

An Investigation of School Closures Resulting from Forced District Reorganization in ArkansasSome policymakers and other advocates of reorganizing Arkansas' public education system have insisted that the minimum district size requirements included in Act 60 and the district closings authorized under the Omnibus Education Act are aimed at closing school districts only, for the sake of "administrative" efficiency. They argue that the forced reorganization of districts is not intended to close schools. Some tease the issue a bit, adding that at the very least it doesn't have to happen, and in their view, probably will not happen. This analysis of the ways that reorganization has played out over the past two years strongly suggests otherwise.


Compounding Challenges: Student Achievement and the Distribution of Human and Fiscal Resources in Oregon's Rural School Districts

Compounding ChallengesThis report presents findings from an investigation into relationships between academic achievement and the distribution of fiscal resources among rural school districts in Oregon. The investigation was prompted by earlier-reported findings suggesting the critical nature of both achievement gaps and resource gaps among rural school districts in the state. A variety of statistical procedures yielded consistent findings indicating that there is considerable disparity in the distribution of fiscal resources among rural districts, and that the level of fiscal resources available to districts significantly influences educational outcomes.


More Doesn't Mean Better: Larger High Schools and More Courses Do Not Boost Student Achievement in Iowa High Schools

More Doesn't Mean BetterSmall school districts are an "achievement blessing" in Iowa, according to More Doesn't Mean Better. In Iowa, consolidation proponents contend that small schools in small districts cannot offer a sufficiently broad curriculum, and that offering more courses would lead to higher achievement levels. This study finds just the opposite: Bigger schools and broader curriculum do not boost student achievement. In fact, smaller districts with fewer course offerings and higher poverty produced a slightly higher—but not statistically significant—percentage of students who scored "proficient" on state achievement tests than larger districts.


Anything But Research-based: State Initiatives to Consolidate Schools and Districts

The consolidation of schools and school districts is an ongoing issue in most of rural America. Each year hundreds of communities face the closure of their local school or the loss of their local school district-and the school governance positions associated with the district. State policies promoting consolidation have existed for most of the 20th and now 21st centuries. Indeed, the numbers of schools and districts in this country have been drastically reduced, despite burgeoning school populations.


Student Achievement and the Distribution of Human and Financial Resources in Mississippi School Districts

Student Achievement and the Distribution of Human and Financial Resources in Mississippi School DistrictsThis report suggests that the distribution of both school funding and qualified teachers are primary forces behind Mississippi's achievement gaps. It finds that districts with students facing the most severe challenges to high academic achievement are also the districts that have the most limited resources with which to address those challenges. Conversely, districts with students facing the fewest challenges are also the ones with the most resources.


Providing Rural Students with a High Quality Education

Providing Rural Students with a High Quality EducationThis report outlines the specifics of what the rural perspective on educational adequacy entails for policymakers, education leaders, and school finance advocates. While the report embraces the thinking behind education adequacy, it urges researchers and school funding reform advocates to begin using the phrase "high quality education," because it more aptly describes quality schooling and it will resonate better with rural people and the broader public.


A Year of Civics in Action: 2004-2005

A Year of Civics in Action: 2004-2005The 2004-2005 report on the progress of the first year of the Rural Civic Engagement Initiative. Includes review of activities in Ohio, South Carolina, Vermont, Wisconsin.


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.


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.


Making Bricks Without Straw: An Analysis of Achievement Patterns and Fiscal Inequity an Inadequacy in Nebraska School System

Making Bricks without StrawNebraska school systems with the lowest test scores serve more students who face socio-economic barriers to academic achievement than do other Nebraska schools, but have to do it with less money, according to this analysis.


The Promise and the Power of Distance Learning in Rural Education

Distance Learning in Rural EducationDistance learning is here to stay. Its future appears to be unsure only in its direction or extent of growth. This paper focuses on the applicability and potential of two-way interactive television (I-TV) for small and rural K-12 schools as a primary asset in improving educational access and equity and calls for the adoption of enlightened distance learning policies and guidelines at the state and local levels. Appendices include: (1) Characteristics of Major Distance Learning Technologies; (2) Types of Distance Learning Technologies; and (3) a Categorization of State Videoconferencing Policies. The Appendices are followed by a glossary of technical terms and list of references.


Letters to the Next President: What We Can Do About the Real Crisis in Public Education

Letters to the Next PresidentIn the 2004 publication Letters to the Next President, more than 30 education experts, elected officials, practitioners, students, community leaders, and parents wrote to our next president, offering suggestions on improving critical problems in public education such as equitable funding resources and saving small schools.


Good Rural High School Case Study: Shaw High School, Shaw, Mississippi

Shaw High SchoolThis case study of Shaw High School, Shaw, Mississippi using the Good Rural High School assessment rubric developed by the Rural School and Community Trust provides an exemplar study in rural high school improvement.


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 Size: Research Based Conclusions

School size is a critical factor in determining educational outcomes. Research links small school size with higher levels of achievement and cost effectiveness. Small size also makes other school improvements more effective. But the advantages of small schools can be undermined if they are under funded or forced to organize and operate the way larger schools do. Here is what researchers have found about school size.


Gallup Goes to School: The Importance of Confidence Intervals for Evaluating "Adequate Yearly Progress" in Small Schools

Gallup Goes to Schoolwww.ruraledu.org/articles.phpThis report finds that states should use statistical confidence intervals to interpret test scores as a measure of "adequate yearly progress" for small schools under the No Child Left Behind Act.


The Re-Invention of Regional Service Co-ops in Arkansas

The following is intended to be a thought-provoking, but non-prescriptive, look at the future of Regional Education Service Cooperatives in Arkansas. The decisions reached, however, must be made with the full and equal involvement of the existing co-ops, the districts they serve, and the Arkansas Department of Education.


Rural School Leadership in the Deep South: A Framework for Professional Development

A Framework for Professional DevelopmentThis is the second in a two-part series intended to give public voice to school leaders in the South. The report comes from discussions of the Rural School Leaders Working Group, a group of 20 principals, superintendents and instructional supervisors from Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, who met to discuss the issues, challenges and opportunities for school leadership. This report outline the features of a practitioner-led, research oriented professional development plan for the participating leaders to strengthen their capacity to meet the critical challenges and opportunities of rural school leadership. The report is available for free as a PDF from the Rural Trust.


Engaged Institutions: Impacting Vulnerable Youth Through Place-Based Learning

Engaged InstitutionsWith funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Rural Trust sponsored several researchers to develop case studies examining the connections between higher education institutions and vulnerable youth in communities that have chosen place-based education as a framework for student learning and community growth. The report explores the development of rural Education Renewal Zones in Missouri, an aquaculture project in northeastern Maine that is helping revitalize a small town's fishing economy, and a project in New Mexico focused on water use and conservation through using an "acequia" irrigation system. Engaged Institutions also features in-depth studies on other place-based learning partnerships including initiatives to preserve Navajo culture in Indian schools in Arizona, unique media arts projects in Appalachia, and a project aimed at improving writing skills using local culture in the Mississippi Delta.


Alternative Ways to Achieve Cost Effective Schools

There are legitimate concerns about the administrative costs of running small school districts. It has been widely assumed that the only way to reduce these costs is to achieve economies of scale by eliminating school districts through consolidation. Proposals to consolidate districts often include assurances that closing districts does not mean that schools have to close. The idea is that we can reduce administrative costs without losing the educational benefits of small schools.


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."


Rural School Leadership in the Deep South: The Double-Edged Legacy of School Desegregation

The Double-Edged Legacy of School DesegregationThis is the first in a two-part series intended to give public voice to school leaders in the South. The report comes from discussions of the Rural School Leaders Working Group, a group of 20 principals, superintendents and instructional supervisors from Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, who met to discuss the issues, challenges, and opportunities for school leadership. The report outlines what participants considered the most important topic areas for their personal learning and professional development, and what they indicated they need to lead school districts to greater student achievement and overall performance. The report is available for free as a PDF from the Rural Trust.


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.


Lowering the Overhead by Raising the Roof ...and other Rural Trust strategies to reduce the costs of your small school

Lowering the OverheadLowering the Overhead by Raising the Roof provides strategies to help communities reduce the costs of maintaining, building, and renovating small schools, author Barbara Lawrence reports on specific strategies that rural communities have used and shares what she has learned from people throughout the country.


How to Analyze Your State's Education Finance System

This workbook walks you through the complex maze of information gathering and analysis needed to begin to make sense of finance systems. We recommend using the guide online to make it easier to access various sources of information.


Complying with IRS Regulations on Lobbying by Public Charities

This brochure explains the Internal Revenue Service regulations that restrict the lobbying activities of certain non-profit organizations. Nonprofit organizations can be structured in several ways. The information in this brochure applies only to nonprofit groups organized as public charities under Section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code. People who donate to these groups receive the most generous tax deductions allowed by the IRS. Because of this benefit, significant restrictions are placed on the groups' expenditures for political purposes. This brochure explains those restrictions.
Date: July 01, 2000
Related Categories: Community Advocate, Networks/Groups
Related Tags: School Finance/Funding


Standards in Public Schools: A Policy Statement of the Rural School and Community Trust

http://www.ruraledu.org/articles.php?id=2087This document articulates the Rural Trust's views on academic standards, with particular emphasis on the role of community input in setting and maintaining standards. Ann C. Lewis, columnist for KAPPAN magazine, called this policy statement "one of the finest philosophical documents to come out of the standards movement."


Parent Participation, School Accountability & Rural Education: The Impact of KERA on Kentucky School Facilities Policy

This report discusses particular forms of parent involvement and democratic empowerment now partially restored in the state of Kentucky which have become engendered as a result of the Kentucky Educational Reform Act (KERA) of 1990, a landmark attempt to reduce inequity statewide.


Small Schools, Big Results: Nebraska High School Completion and Postsecondary Enrollment Rates by Size of School District

Small Schools, Big ResultsThis research, funded in part by the Rural Trust, finds that small schools measure up very well against their big neighbors when the cost of schooling is measured as the cost per graduate.


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.