Rural New York School Recruits Overseas Students

Last Updated: December 15, 2010

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.

This story by National Public Radio’s Brian Mann profiles Newcomb Central School, a pre-kindergarten through 12th grade school located in a remote valley in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York.

When a local mine closed in the 1970s, the town’s population began a steady decline. School staff was cut and whole grades merged. As enrollment continued to drop, the Newcomb School Superintendent made the decision to bring in students from overseas.

Since the program’s inception in 2006, school enrollment has increased by 25 percent.

Read the complete story and listen to the audio version online at