Rural Policy Matters: November 2009


Last Updated: November 30, 2009
 

Rural Policy Matters: November 2009

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Fact and Figures About Student Enrollment in Rural School Districts
Question: Which five states have the highest percentage of students enrolled in rural school districts?
 
Why Rural Matters 2009: State and Regional Challenges and Opportunities
The fifth Why Rural Matters (WRM) biennial report from the Rural Trust is the nation's most broad-ranging look at rural education in all 50 states. This year's report finds that rural enrollment continues to grow across the country. As in the past, rural schools and students facing the biggest challenges are located in a southern band of states stretching from California across the southwest through the Deep South and into Appalachia. In these states public policy tends to make challenges worse not better.

New to WRM 2009 is a closer look at rural districts with the highest poverty rates in each state. Severe obstacles to student learning exist in these districts even in states where rural students generally fare reasonably well. However, student outcomes in some states are much better than in others suggesting that policy does indeed make a difference for students with the most challenges to high achievement. Read more about the major findings of WRM 2009 and check out results for your state...
 
Why Rural Matters 2009: An Interview with Co-Author and Researcher Jerry Johnson
RPM interviews Why Rural Matters (WRM) co-author Jerry Johnson about his personal perspectives on the findings in this important report...
 
From the "Believe It Or Not" Basket: The Cost of Being Small and Poor, the Charm of Being Big and Rich
Poor rural schools continue to lose Title I money to larger richer districts...
 
Map of the 900 Poorest Rural Districts
The poorest 900 rural school districts have poverty rates that rival or exceed the poorest urban districts, their students are diverse with no racial/ethnic majority, they are located in geographic clusters around the United States, and they are losing Title I funding to bigger richer districts...
 
Formula Fairness Campaign
The Rural Trust announces a new campaign to bring fairness in the Title I funding formula for smaller higher poverty school districts...
 
Maine Consolidation Repeal Effort Goes Down to Defeat
Maine citizens voted in November to keep the state law that forces many smaller school districts to consolidate on the books. The vote generally followed community lines with voters in towns that would lose their district voting to repeal the law and voters in towns unaffected by the law voting to keep it in place. A political action committee with backing from Governor John Baldacci spent over $300,000 on a statewide campaign to convince voters to leave the law in place. But members of the Maine Coalition to Save Schools are continuing their efforts to address the law...
 
Rural Education Finance Center Director Amanda Adler Published in Award-Winning Book
A newly released book on school finance, A Quality Education for Every Child: Stories from the Lawyers on the Front Line, was a finalist in the National Best Books Awards. Rural Trust's Amanda Adler, Director of the REFC, wrote the chapter on rural school finance lawsuits...
 
Rural School Funding News
 
 
Colorado Court Says Case Can Move Forward
Colorado's highest court says that school funding issues are a matter for the courts...
 
Mississippi Eyes District Consolidation
The budget crisis may be a reason to put school consolidation on the legislative table in Mississippi even though some state leaders point out it is unlikely to produce savings...
 
Idaho Looking for Ways to Cut Spending
Idaho's struggles to cut spending are not likely to lead to consolidation proposals...
 
Kansas Faces Multiple School Funding Issues
Consolidation proposals could be under consideration in Kansas as a way to cut costs, but some warn that unpopular school closures would likely follow...
 
Washington Funding Ruling Overturned
Washington court rules that differences in salaries are not a concern...
 
Graph

 
Percent Children Receiving Pre-School Services in a Public Elementary School, 2005-06
This chart, based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics, shows the percentage of children receiving pre-school services in public elementary schools in rural, suburban, and urban regions...
 
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Achievement Gap Study Offers More Data for Understanding How Schools and Policymakers Can Respond
In this issue of RPM-PX we take a final look at a series of recent reports on the Achievement Gap with a review of David Berliner's paper, Poverty and Potential: Out-of-School Factors and School Success. We offer our thoughts on its implications for rural schools...