Rural Policy Matters: May 2011

Last Updated: May 31, 2011

Rural Policy Matters: May 2011

to RPM

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

Scope of Rural Tornado Destruction Under-Reported
Half of all people killed in this spring’s violent storms were killed in rural communities and small rural towns. Even prior to the Joplin strike, 2011 was one of the deadliest tornado years on record, with 363 confirmed deaths, three-quarters of them in rural communities and small towns. So far this year, at least twelve schools have been demolished, three in Joplin, three in Tuscaloosa, and six in rural communities from Oklahoma to Alabama. RPM catalogs the rural impact and suggests that expert claims that this year’s high death rate is largely attributable to urban strikes ignore the rural facts.

Federal Office of Rural Education Policy Proposed
U.S. Senators Max Baucus of Montana and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia have introduced legislation to create an Office of Rural Education Policy within the U.S. Department of Education.

Leonore Annenberg School Fund Grants Awarded
Two rural schools have been awarded Leonore Annenberg School Fund grants.

Rural Innovations Webinar Series: New England Network for Personalization and Performance (NETWORK)
The Rural Trust is conducting a series of webinars featuring rural school innovations, including programs that won federal i3 grants and proposed to work in rural communities. The May webinar featured the work of NETWORK, which envisions a redesigned rural high school where learning happens anytime, anyplace, and where students participate in inquiry-based learning experiences and demonstrate their learning through complex, rigorous performance assessments.

Many Highest Poverty Districts Would Be Better Off If Congress Had Not Tried to Help Them
Number-weighting in the Title I formulas is so detrimental to most high-poverty districts that many would be better off if the formulas made no attempt to target more money to districts with high rates of poverty. This post from the Formula Fairness Campaign explains why.

Rural Trust Office Moves
Earlier this month, the national offices of the Rural School and Community Trust moved.


Rural School Funding News

Idaho's Declining Enrollment Safety Net Survives Another Year
In a year of massive educational policy changes in Idaho, the state’s safety net for schools with declining enrollments survives, barely.

Maine Funding Formula Under Scrutiny
Rural school districts in coastal Maine and other areas of the state where increases in property values have rapidly outpaced increases in income of full-time residents are seeking relief from aspects of the state’s school funding formula that result in lower state support for their schools.

Alabama School Funding Trial Wraps Up
Final arguments in an Alabama school funding lawsuit tie very low rural school funding to tax laws and other aspects of the state’s 1901 constitution intended to deny education opportunity to African American and low-income white residents.



Percent K-12 Students Qualifying for Special Education Services, By School Locale
Students who attend rural schools are slightly less likely to qualify for special education services than their city and suburban counterparts. Students in small towns are slightly more likely to qualify for special education services.