Rural Policy Matters: April 2011

Last Updated: April 27, 2011

Rural Policy Matters: April 2011

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Facts and Figures About States With the Lowest Average Salary Expenditures for Instructional Staff in Rural Schools
Question: Which five states have the lowest average salary expenditures for instructional staff in rural schools?

Consolidation Initiatives in Urban Areas Similar to Those in Rural Communities
Many urban districts around the nation are proposing school closures, prompted, in part, by school “reform” and turnaround initiatives and by budgetary woes. The issues and community responses bear a striking similarity to those in rural areas.

Case Has Far-Reaching Implications for Education and Church State Separation
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a ruling that allows an Arizona tax credit for private school scholarships to survive. The rationale could make it harder for citizens to challenge government spending on religious activities.

YouthBuild USA Co-Sponsors Formula Fairness Campaign
The national non-profit YouthBuild USA has joined the Formula Fairness Campaign as a co-sponsor.

Save the Date for the 2011 Southeast Regional Rural Summit
Save the date for a regional rural summit.

Register Now: Rural School Innovations Webinar: The New England Network for Personalization and Performance, May 11, 2011
Register now for the next webinar in the Rural School Innovations series.


School Discipline

School Discipline Update
Across the country community groups and others concerned about young people have begun to push back against the growing trend for schools to use severe and punitive discipline in response to non-violent student misbehavior. Addressing school discipline, especially harsh punishments that push students out of school, has been identified as a major concern of many rural community residents. This occasional series highlights some of the most basic issues in the national conversation about school discipline.

Zero Tolerance and the School-to-Prison Pipeline
Efforts to end zero-tolerance discipline problems continue to make headway.

Seclusion and Restraint
Several states are taking steps to limit the use of physical seclusion and restraint, especially on students with disabilities.


Rural School Funding News

Rural School Funding News Special Series: Financing Rural Schools: Characteristics of Strong Rural School Finance Systems
In this series, Rural School Funding News has reviewed general principles of school finance and shared information about school funding systems that support rural schools and their unique characteristics and needs. While there are no easy answers to questions about how to fund schools, especially in this economic climate, we hope that these articles provide you information about promising practices, ideas for advocacy, and policy guidelines that inform your analysis and support work to improve the school finance system in your state.

Arkansas Increases School Funding and Addresses Transportation
In an arrangement with Governor Mike Beebe, the Arkansas legislature increased across-the-board funding for schools and Beebe set aside money for a special transportation fund.

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.



Total Number of Regular Public Schools, 2009–10 School Year
There are more rural schools in the U.S. than there are urban, suburban, or small town schools.