Small Schools/School Size


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 sharing 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 with information about promising practices, ideas for advocacy, and policy guidelines that inform your analysis and support work on the school finance system in your state.


Paying Teachers for Performance:
Issues and Dilemmas for Rural Schools, Part One

Recent calls to change the way most teachers are paid have focused on “pay for performance,” that is, paying teachers according to how well they teach. Pay-for-performance criteria have been included in several federal grant programs, and several states have begun collecting data that could be used to implement these programs. But problems arise in defining and measuring good teaching. These problems get thornier in rural schools, where teachers often wear multiple hats, teach several subjects and grades, and work for salaries that are lower than their counterparts in urban and suburban areas.


Rural School Funding News Special Series: Financing Rural Schools: Characteristics of Strong Rural School Finance Systems

In this series, Rural School Funding News is reviewing general principles of school finance and sharing 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 will provide you promising practices, ideas for advocacy, and guidelines that are easily transferable in your analysis and work on your own school finance systems.


New Report Finds Consolidation More Likely to Yield Harm Than Benefit

A recent wave of research studies suggests that school and district consolidation has already proceeded beyond the point of a favorable cost-benefit ratio and is unlikely to yield fiscal or educational benefits. De-consolidation may be more likely to improve fiscal efficiency and educational services.


Consolidation Fight-Back Toolkit

The documents in this Consolidation Toolkit, prepared by the policy staff of the Rural School and Community Trust, can help you educate your fellow citizens and the policymakers who have the final say in consolidation decisions.


Research Raises Doubts About Benefits of Consolidation

Has the time for consolidation come and gone? Research shows that state policies that broadly push mergers of schools and districts will not save money and will likely lower the quality of education — especially for the poor.


Rural New York School Recruits Overseas Students

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


Facts and Figures About States with the Highest Percentage of Small Rural Districts

Question: Which eight states have the highest percentage of small rural districts?
Date: October 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, Small Schools/School Size


Consolidation Watch: State Policies on an Important Rural Issue

Several states are addressing consolidation — but not all are promoting it.


South Dakota Candidates Speak Out Against Consolidation

Candidates for governor of South Dakota have spoken out against a state law that forces small districts to consolidate....
Date: September 28, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, School/District Size, Small Schools/School Size


Iowa Losing Rural School Districts

In the face of budget cuts and financial pressures, more rural Iowa districts are consolidating....


Education Week Launches Rural Blog

One of the nation’s most widely-read education news outlets recently launched a blog devoted to rural education issues. We’re glad to see this attention to rural schools…
Date: August 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: School Location, Small Schools/School Size


RSFN Special Series:
Financing Rural Schools: Characteristics of Strong Rural School Finance Systems

Part IV in the Rural School Funding News (RSFN) special series, "Financing Rural Schools," looks at provisions for small school and/or district size.


West Virginia Community Story Tells Much About School Consolidation

The community of Meadow Bridge, West Virginia has fought for decades to keep their K–12 schools. Their story reveals many of the circumstances and events that rural communities address as they work to make their schools and communities strong.


Consolidation Fightback Toolkit Now Available

The Rural Trust has updated its Consolidation FightBack Toolkit. Check it out...
Date: March 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, School/District Size, Small Schools/School Size