Save Alabama's Small Schools Hosts Statewide Meeting

Last Updated: April 29, 2010

This article appeared in the April 2010 Rural Policy Matters.

The rural education advocacy group, Save Alabama’s Small Schools (SASS), held its first annual conference earlier this month.

The group initially formed in 2003 to support the state’s small rural public schools and to advocate for state and local policies and programs that ensure the best educational opportunities for rural students. In 2009, SASS incorporated as a non-profit organization.

Since then SASS has held annual lobby days at the state legislature, gathered and shared information on the effects of school size on student outcomes such as graduation rates and achievement, collaborated with other organizations on quality education initiatives, and worked at the community level to preserve small schools and protect them from consolidation. In 2008, SASS hosted the Rural Education Working Group’s national meeting.

The April event marks the group’s first statewide conference.

“This was a great opportunity to get our message out to more communities and to build relationships and support,” said Samuel Brewer, SASS President.

More than 60 people attended the conference held on April 13th at Tuskegee University.

Larry Lee, Director of the Center for Rural Alabama, gave a keynote address emphasizing the importance of building supportive environments within schools to enable children to grow and thrive. Mayors Johnny Ford of Tuskegee and James Robbins of Midway welcomed participants and asserted their support for small public schools.

SASS is a grassroots non-profit organization committed to saving, improving, and advocating for small rural schools in Alabama.

Read more from the April 2010 Rural Policy Matters