Last Updated: June 16, 2009
The Rural Education Finance Center works on all levels to improve educational opportunity for rural children by reducing inequities in state school finance systems, strengthening the fiscal practices of rural schools, and insuring the adequacy of funding to rural schools. We do this by:
The REFC helps rural people meet these and other challenges by:
Focus on Rural. We understand rural places and people. To ensure rural public engagement, we realize that knowing the rural issues and shaping a rural agenda from within rural communities is a strategic necessity for fair and effective school funding systems.
Community Well-being. We put community first. For a fair and effective school finance system, we know that the issues that affect community confidence in public schools-tax system fairness, authority of the community in school matters, and efficient use of school funds-cannot, without impunity, be ignored.
Empowerment. We are committed to empowering rural people to be effective and responsible participants in the school funding democratic process. We aim to build organizations that sustain efforts and consistently renew leadership.
Strategically Appropriate Action. We focus on action strategies shaped to respond to the varying facts and circumstances rural people face. We do not let our organizational style and professional preferences determine strategies. Instead, we work with rural people to chart a course of action, and find the skills and resources to make it work.
Management Matters. We make the case for better management systems to go hand-in-hand with better funding systems. We believe that no amount of funding for a school is adequate if the funds are not used in the most cost-effective way-every dollar wasted is a source of fiscal inequity.
Equity in Place. We believe that schools must be community institutions, and that school funding system must reflect that idea. We believe that "equity" can only occur in a place where children feel safe, wanted, needed, and expected to do well. Good, small schools close to home are an essential part of a quality education.
Contact the Rural Education Finance Center.