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Why Rural Matters 2015-2016 Capitol Hill briefing to be held April 3, 2017

Why Rural Matters 2015-2016 is the eighth in a series of biennial reports analyzing the contexts and conditions of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the need for policymakers to address rural education issues in their respective states.


Regional Education Laboratory Appalachia Co-hosts July 25 Event on Postsecondary Readiness in Rural Communities

Regional Education Laboratories (REL) invite practitioners and leaders from rural schools and districts, as well as rural education researchers are invited the attend the Cross-REL full-day event in Nashville, Tennessee.


Grant Applications for FY 16 Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) due July 7, 2016

On May 23, 2016, the Teacher Quality Programs Office announced the FY 16 Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant competition. The TQP FY 16 grant competition has an estimated $5,000,000 and anticipates making 3-5 new awards that will increase student achievement by improving the quality of new prospective teachers.


March 14 is Deadline to apply for 2016 Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers

The 2016 Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers provides secondary social studies teachers with a valuable opportunity to expand their knowledge and learn new methods for teaching about the Supreme Court of the United States.


Leonore Annenberg School Fund Grantees Benefit from Grant-Funded Technology

In 2014, the Rural Trust announced that Greenville Elementary School, located in Greenville Florida, would receive an award from the Leonore Annenberg School Fund.


Register Now for June 24 Webinar on Building School-Community Models

This Wednesday, June 24 webinar will provide tips from educators and advocates on how to build lasting school-community partnerships. Marty J. Blank, President of the Institute for Educational Leadership, and Director of the Coalition for Community Schools, will be among the guest speakers.


Rural Schools Collaborative Grant Applications Due May 15, 2015

The Rural Schools Collaborative announced its Grants in Place program for rural classroom teachers. Grants in Place will provide up to twenty grants for innovative place-based education projects. Funding will be awarded for projects that will commence in Fall 2015. 


U.S. Department of Agriculture Offers Strategies for Starting or Expanding a Farm to School Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School webinar series will offer helpful guidance on how schools can start or expand their farm to school program in 2015. This 11-part webinar series will help participants develop new strategies for bringing local foods into the lunchroom and will include topics like building a team, menu planning and program sustainability.


April 7, 2015 is Deadline to Apply for K-12 Science and Audio-Visual Teacher-in-Residence Positions

The Educational Outreach Division of the Library of Congress is seeking applications from current K-12 teachers or library/media specialists for two Teacher-in-Residence positions during the 2015-16 school year.


Read about the U.S. Department of Education's Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request

Critical investments in preschool, K-12 and higher education are among the highlights of the Department of Education's 2016 budget request.


Register Now for IEL's March 17 Webinar: My Brother's Keeper and Community Schools

This upcoming webinar will focus on strategies to effectively reach young men of color in community schools through the lens of President Obama's initiative known as My Brother's Keeper. Webinar presenters will also discuss how to leverage community partnerships to address racial and educational disparities.


Mark Your Calendar: March 4th and March 5th Webinars Focus on Rural Education Issues

The Regional Education Laboratories (REL) are presenting webinars which focus on rural education topics. REL Central will present the March 4 Webinar. REL Southwest will host the March 5 Webinar.


National Education Association Celebrates Read Across America on March 2, 2015

The Rural School and Community Trust joins the National Education Association (NEA) in commemorating Read Across America on Monday, March 2, 2015.


Rural Trust Joins Coalition in Push for Equal Access to Well-Prepared and Effective Educators For Each and Every Child

On October 7, 2014, the Rural School and Community Trust joined the Coalition for Teaching Quality on Capitol Hill in urging Congress to push for a comprehensive road map for ensuring there are well-prepared and effective educators for each student, regardless of need, color or disability.


Increasing Early Literacy in Rural Communities

The Rural Trust is a lead partner in a new grant to demonstrate innovative approaches to strengthening literacy among young rural children.


South Carolina, Kansas Fight School Finance Rulings

State officials in both South Carolina and Kansas are fighting court rulings to bring their finance systems up to constitutional standards.


U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights Releases Guidance to Ensure that All Students have Equal Access to Educational Resources

On October 2, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights released guidance in the form of a Dear Colleague Letter to ensure that all students have equal access to educational resources. The guidance provides detailed and concrete information to educators on the standards established by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


To Travel: 2014 Rural Trust Global Fellows Share Their Stories, Part 2

The Rural Trust Global Teacher Fellowship program offers rural teachers the opportunity to choose and design their own international learning experiences. Four Fellows in the class of 2014 talk about what the opportunity has meant to them and their students.


To Travel: 2014 Rural Trust Global Fellows Share Their Stories, Part 1

Rural teachers share their experiences as Rural Trust Global Teacher Fellows. The program offers rural teachers the opportunity to choose and design their own international learning experiences.


Charters, School Finance Ruling All Mixed Up in Washington State

The relationship between school funding for regular public schools and charters can be complicated. Lawsuits in Washington reveal some of the reasons why.


Education a Key Issue in Some State Elections

Education may play a surprisingly large role in several state elections next month and somel issues are challenging partisan divisions.
Date: October 29, 2014
Related Categories: Administrator, Parent, Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: School Finance/Funding, Teacher Issues, testing


Coalition for Teaching Quality Policy Recommendations

Report outlines steps for ensuring high quality teachers for all students.


Applications for 2015 Global Teacher Fellowship Program Due January 30, 2015

Teachers and other academic personnel working in a rural or small town school may apply for fellowships for self-designed summer learning experiences based in international travel.


Register Now for December 10 NCEEP Webinar: Issues, Challenges and Successes for GEAR UP Programs in Rural Areas

Throughout the United States, GEAR UP programs in rural communities face unique challenges trying to facilitate college readiness and access for low-income, first-generation students, ranging from transportation issues, teacher quality and turnover, and inadequate K-12 resources and rigor to lack of post-secondary education and economic development opportunities.

Deadline to apply for Fritz Fischer Scholarship Fund is December 15, 2014

The National Council for History Education (NCHE) is a non-profit organization which brings together historians, teachers, education specialists, university faculty, community leaders, museums, archives, libraries, and historical societies to ensure not only that history was being taught in our schools, but that excellence of instruction and learning occurred


Battles Continue Over Teacher Employment Issues

Politically charged fights over teacher tenure, contract negotiations, and testing rage on in states and at the federal level.


Missouri Expands Concealed Carry in Schools

Missouri joins other states that allow guns in schools.


Thank a Million Teachers Grant Applications Due October 31, 2014

In an effort to make a positive impact on the lives of educators and their students, the University of Farmers Education Foundation is giving away $1 million in grants to America's teachers. Parents, students and fellow-educators can help by saying "Thank You" to an educator that's made a difference in his or her life and the community


Nominations for the 2015 Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship in Education Leadership are Now Being Accepted

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has announced a grant of nearly $14.5 million from the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment to expand its MBA program in education leadership.


Kids In Need Foundation 2014 Teacher Grant Applications due Sept. 30, 2014

The Kids In Need Foundation, a national, non-profit organization dedicated to providing free school supplies to economically disadvantaged school children and under-funded teachers, is launching the 2014 teacher grants program. All certified K-12 teachers nationwide are eligible to apply.


Why Rural Matters 2013-14 Garners National Attention at Capitol Hill Briefing

On July 9, 2014, Rural Trust staff and researchers presented the key research findings of Why Rural Matters 2013-14 at a policy briefing on Capitol Hill. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Representative Glen Thompson (R-PA) sponsored this Hill event, which was attended by a diverse group of educators, policy enthusiasts and rural supporters.


September 9 - Deadline to Apply for the Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP)

The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL), in partnership with its fourteen state-based program sites, is recruiting for the 2014-2015 cohort of the Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP), a program which prepares high-potential individuals for positions of leadership in education and related fields.


Vermont Stands Up, Respects Parents and Teachers

A high-achieving state stands up to the federal law that deems its schools “low performing.”


NCLB Requirements Come Due

RPM Editorial: The nation’s schools are supposed to be meeting all provisions of the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act at the start of this school year. But statistical impossibility, inconsistent enforcement, and state waivers leave the law’s provisions in limbo.


Proposals due Sept. 5, 2014: Global Teacher Fellowship Program Evaluation

In many rural schools and communities, highly effective educators are difficult to recruit and retain. This challenge is particularly debilitating in remote rural communities and in places with high concentrations of children of color and poverty. The Rural Trust's goal is to develop and support highly effective teachers and leaders who are particularly disposed to and skilled at teaching, learning, and living in rural places.


Washington Court and Legislature Nearing Showdown Over School Funding

Washington’s state legislature is unlikely to meet a Supreme Court deadline related to the state’s school finance lawsuit and it’s not clear what the Court will do about it.


Georgia Gun Law: So Far No School Takers

Schools in Georgia are not opting into provisions in a new law that makes it possible to arm teachers and other staff members.


California Tenure Ruling: Big Splash, Unclear Consequences

A California ruling on teacher tenure changes little in the short run, but frames a big political debate on the future of teaching and public sector job rights.


North Carolina Teacher Policy Debates Move to Budget Process

North Carolina teachers won back some of their tenure protections, but that fight has moved to the state budget process, where several education policies are under debate.


A Rural Teacher Makes a Tough Decision

It wasn’t discipline in the usual sense, nor the demands of a small school, but lack of support and policies that seem bent on student failure that prompted one accomplished rural teacher to make a heart-breaking decision.
Date: May 27, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: School Location, Teacher Issues


Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Proposal Eliminates Impact Aid Section 8002 Funding

The Administration's Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal request recommends the elimination of funding for Impact Aid, Section 8002 (Federal Properties) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).


Thirty-one Rural Teachers Awarded Travel Fellowships

The 2014 class of Rural Trust Global Fellows will travel in six continents. 


Teachers Feel More Stressed and Disregarded Than Other Workers

Teachers feel more stressed and less likely to think their opinions matter than other workers, but policies and administrative practices make a big difference.


Thirty-one Rural Teachers Awarded Travel Fellowships

Thirty-one rural teachers have been selected for the 2014 class of Rural Trust Global Teacher Fellows. The awards, totaling nearly $200,000, will enable Fellows to travel to Africa, Asia, Australia, Canada, Central America, and Europe.


Narrowing the Achievement Gap: Grade-level Reading by the End of Third Grade

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative effort by foundations, nonprofit partners, states and communities across the nation to ensure that more children in low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career, and active citizenship.


Rural Trust Fellows Bring Global Connections to the Rural Classroom

In February 2013, Global Teacher Fellows (GTF), Meg Allison and Pamela Dow gave Moretown Elementary students the experience of flying on a plane and traveling to Paris. This simulated student excursion to Paris was just another example of how the Rural Trust's GTF Fellows are bringing global connections to the rural classroom and opening up their students' eyes to the world around them.


Resistance Mounting to North Carolina's Education "Reforms"

Resistance is growing to recent changes to education policy in North Carolina, including lawsuits against the elimination of tenure protections and state support for private school vouchers.


Teachers for Global Classrooms Now Accepting Grant Applications for 2014-15

The Teachers for Global Classrooms (TGC) Program provides a year-long professional development opportunity for middle and high school teachers from the United States to participate in a program aimed at globalizing teaching and learning in their classrooms.


Applications for 2014 Global Teacher Fellowship Program due January 30, 2014

Teachers and other academic personnel working in a rural or small town school may apply for fellowships for self-designed summer learning experiences based in international travel.


Impact Aid School Districts Bear Brunt of Federal Budget Cuts

When the across-the-board federal budget cuts, known as the Sequester, took effect on March 1, 2013, school districts receiving federal Impact Aid experienced an immediate reduction of funds for the 2012-2013 school year, because funding for the Impact Aid Program is used the same school year it is appropriated.


2013 Global Teacher Fellows Share Experiences

Thirty-two rural teachers traveled the globe in the summer of 2013. Read their stories and see photos.


Applications for 2014 Global Teacher Fellowship Program Now Open

Teachers and other academic personnel working in a rural or small town school may apply for fellowships for self-designed summer learning experiences based in international travel.


Applications for 2014 Global Teacher Fellowship Program Now Open

Teachers and other academic personnel working in a rural or small town school may apply for fellowships for self-designed summer learning experiences based in international travel.


How Scaling Up Reading Recovery is Meeting the Needs of Students in Rural Schools

A part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund and private funders are providing grantees the opportunity to make significant strides in education. The Ohio University was among those applicants for which the Rural Trust provided funding support.


Rural Trust Holds Place-Based Learning Workshops for Rural Elementary Schools in Georgia and South Carolina

In July and August 2013, the Rural Trust conducted Place-Based learning (PBL) institutes for North Mitchell County Elementary School in Baconton, GA and D.P. Cooper Elementary School in Salters, SC. Both rural elementary schools recently received grants from the Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children.


Rural Trust: Who We Are and What We Do

We at the Rural Trust recognize that it is important from time to time to take stock and communicate to our many constituents what we see as important about the work to which we are committed. We are taking the opportunity in this issue of RPM to do just that.


North Carolina Launches Dramatic Changes in Education

North Carolina’s legislature has instituted dramatic changes in policies affecting school funding, teachers, and privatization.


Schools That Change Communities to be Re-Broadcast on Sept. 25, 26 and Oct. 2, 2013

The documentary film, Schools That Change Communities will be re-broadcast on PBS World stations throughout New England, New York, Eastern Pennsylvania, the South, the Midwest and the Southwest. The airing schedule is as follows: 9/25 at 6 pm and 9 pm; 9/26, at 2 am, 10 am, and 4 pm, 10/2 at 2 am, 10 am, and 4 pm. Viewers should check local listings as times may vary slightly by region of the country.


ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress Every Child Deserves a Fully-Prepared Teacher

What kind of teacher would you choose for your own child or grandchild: one who has completed their teacher training, or one who has just begun it? Doesn't every child deserve to have a fully-prepared teacher in the classroom from day one?


Is your School's Internet Access Fast Enough for Digital Learning?

EducationSuperHighway.org estimates that 80% of K-12 public schools in the US do not have sufficient Internet infrastructure for digital learning.


Pets in the Classroom Grants Now Available for the 2013-2014 School Year

The Pet Care Trust's Pets in the Classroom program is now accepting grant applications for the 2013-2014 school year. Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade teachers in both private and public schools who desire to introduce a pet into the classroom or already have a pet in the classroom are welcome to apply.
Date: July 23, 2013
Related Categories: Administrator, Student, Teacher, What's New
Related Tags: K-12, Pre-K and Kindergarden, Teacher Issues


The Kids In Need Foundation Announces 2013 Teacher Grants Program

The Kids In Need Foundation, a national, non-profit organization dedicated to providing free school supplies to economically disadvantaged school children and under-funded teachers, is launching the 2013 teacher grants program. All certified K-12 teachers nationwide are eligible to apply.
Date: July 15, 2013
Related Categories: Administrator, Teacher, What's New
Related Tags: Elementary School, High School, K-12, Middle School, Teacher Issues


National Rural Education Association (NREA) Call for Presentations due June 15, 2013

The National Rural Education Association (NREA) Convention and Research Symposium is scheduled to be held October 18-20, 2013, in Branson, Missouri. NREA is seeking presenters to share their innovative practice or research related to rural education.
Date: May 29, 2013
Related Categories: Administrator, Teacher, What's New
Related Tags: Research, Rural School Teaching and Leadership, Teacher Issues


Federal Commission Highlights Funding as a Major Cause of Inequity Among Schools

A federal commission, of which Rural Trust President Doris Terry Williams is a member, recently issued their initial report, "For Each and Every Child." The report recommends a variety of ways to improve equity in schools and opportunity in communities.


Music Educator Award: Deadline to nominate your favorite music teacher is April 15

This award is open to current U.S. music teachers from kindergarten through college. The first annual award will be presented at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony and Nominees Reception in 2014, the night before the Grammy Awards.
Date: March 19, 2013
Related Categories: Administrator, Funding/Grants/Scholarships, Teacher, What's New
Related Tags: Teacher Issues


Rural School Innovations Webinar: The STAR School

The featured innovation of this Rural School Innovations Series Webinar from February 2013 was Northern Arizona's STAR School and its 3-to-3rd Math Project.


March 1 - Deadline for Participating in White House Book Giveaway

The National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance invites teachers and all other adults who live and work with young people to enter the Our White House Book Giveaway. Submissions are due 11:00 PM EST Friday, March 1, 2013.
Date: January 16, 2013
Related Categories: Administrator, Teacher
Related Tags: Announcements, K-12, Teacher Issues


Rural Education Conference Set for April 3-4, 2013

The National Center for Research on Rural Education will assemble researchers, practitioners and policymakers from across the country to discuss the factors influencing rural K-12 students' academic success at a conference to be held April 3–4, 2013, in Omaha.


Schools That Change Communities

This interesting one-hour documentary is now airing and will continue to air on many PBS stations around the country. Between January 30 and February 2, 2013, the program will broadcast on a large number of PBS stations that carry PBS World. Viewers should check local listings for the exact dates and times in their viewing area.


Rural Trust Extends Application Deadline for 2013 Global Teacher Fellowship Program

The application deadline for Rural Trust's Global Teacher Fellowship program has been extended to Jan. 30, 2013.


Life is Good: Educational Innovation in Rural Alaska

At Whittier Community School, students take charge of their own education.


Some Ballot Initiatives Could Have Far-Reaching Outcomes

Voters decided education-related ballot initiatives in many states this month, some with potentially far-reaching results.


Teacher Certification by Locale

Teachers in rural schools are more likely than teachers in other locations to be certified in all classes they teach.
Date: November 27, 2012
Related Categories: Administrator, Media, Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: Graphs, School Location, Teacher Issues


Voters Consider Ballot Initiatives on Education

Next month's elections will steer a course in many states with education initiatives on the statewide ballot.


Teachers Interpret International Travel

The value of opportunities to travel abroad comes home as Global Fellows gather to reflect on their experiences.
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: Place-based Learning, Teacher Issues


A Life-Changing Experience: Global Fellows Travelogue, Part 2

2012 RTGTF Fellow Katie Hendrickson at the Louvre's Musée des Arts Décoratifs.The Rural Trust's Global Teacher Fellows spent the summer traveling the world as part of their self-designed summer learning experiences. Here participants share experiences — and photos.
Date: August 27, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Teacher, What's New
Related Tags: Global Teacher Fellowship, Place-based Learning, Teacher Issues


Grants and Resources for Classroom Pets

Pets in the ClassroomPets in the Classroom helps to establish healthy child-pet relationships at an early age by supporting responsible pet care in elementary and middle school classrooms across the country.
Date: August 25, 2012
Related Categories: Funding/Grants/Scholarships, Teacher, What's New
Related Tags: Elementary School, Middle School, Teacher Issues


A Life-Changing Experience: Global Fellows Travelogue, Part 1

Global Teacher Fellows are traveling the world and sharing experiences — and photographs.
Date: July 27, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: Global Teacher Fellowship, Place-based Learning, Teacher Issues


Travel Inspiration from Global Fellow

Carol Trickler, one of the 2012 Global Fellows, shares her inspiration.


Future of Highly Qualified Teacher Rules Still Unclear

The Rural Trust, along with nearly 100 education, civil rights, and disability groups is urging Congress to reserve Highly Qualified status for teachers who have completed certification training. 


Thomasville Rendezvous Celebrates Place-Based Learning

Over 100 participants spent time sharing their successes with place-based learning at this annual meeting, which also included workshops, the Coover Place-Based Education grant awards and the announcement of the 2012 Ozarks Teacher Corps.


Global Teacher Fellows Describe the Inspiration Behind the Application: Second in a Series

Meet the 2012 Class of Global Teacher Fellows in this ongoing series featuring interviews where they describe their projects and plans for the summer.


Rural Stakeholders to Discuss Implementation of Common Core Standards

SCORE, the Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education, will convene education leaders from Tennessee and around the country to discuss special issues of implementing the Standards in rural communities.


Guidance Issued on Use of Seclusion and Restraint in Schools

The U.S. Department of Education has released a resource document that discourages use of these practices in schools.


Facts and Figures about Rural Teacher Salaries

Question: Which thirteen states have the lowest rural teacher salary expenditures per full-time equivalent (a proxy for measuring full-time teacher salaries)?


2012 Rural Trust Global Teacher Fellows Announced

23 rural teachers from 11 different states have received fellowships to travel the world this summer to gain once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will inform their teaching.


Global Teacher Fellows Describe the Inspiration Behind the Application

Meet the 2012 Class of Global Teacher Fellows in this ongoing series featuring interviews where they describe their projects and plans for the summer.


Children's Defense Fund National Conference: July 22-25, 2012

Make plans now for the 2012 Children's Defense Fund National Conference, set for July 22–25 in  Cincinnati, Ohio.


New Civil Rights Data Released

New federal data reveal significant racial disparities in school discipline and provides tools for advocacy.
Date: March 30, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: African-American students, Discipline, Teacher Issues


Georgia Looking for Ways to Support Rural Teacher Recruitment

Georgia will use part of its Race to the Top award to reward teachers for relocating to rural districts.


Why Rural Matters 2011-12: Statistical Indicators of the Condition of Rural Education in the 50 States

WhyRural Matters 2011-12Why Rural Matters 2011–12 is the sixth in a series of biennial reports analyzing the contexts and conditions of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the need for policymakers to address rural education issues in their respective states.


Pre-Test, Mid-Term; A First-Year Rural Teacher Makes The Grade

Albert Bryant is a first-year mathematics teacher in tiny Everton, Missouri, his hometown.  A graduate of Drury University, Albert was in the inaugural class of the Ozarks Teacher Corps, an effort dedicated to encouraging outstanding teacher prospects to return to their rural home communities as teachers. The Ozarks Teacher Corps is funded by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks’ Rural School Partnership and provides participants with a $4,000 per year scholarship, seminars on rural education issues, and a variety of networking opportunities.


Why Rural Matters 2011-12 Press Release

Nearly one in four American children attend rural schools and enrollment is growing at a faster rate in rural school districts than in all other places combined, according to Why Rural Matters 2011–12, a biennial report by the Rural School and Community Trust.


Report on Urban School Closures Touches Rural Consolidation Themes

A recent report from the Pew Charitable Trusts looks at some of the potential outcomes of closing schools in Philadelphia.
Date: November 29, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, School/District Size, Teacher Issues


Global Teacher Fellowships Alter Lives of Participants

New energy and a renewed enthusiasm for teaching and learning are only some of the benefits for teachers who participated in the 2011 Rural Trust Global Fellowship Program.


Upcoming Webinar: Rural Classroom: Importance of Cooperative Learning

Join us for a November 10th webinar featuring the experiences of 2011 Global Teacher Fellows.
Date: October 27, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: Global Teacher Fellowship, Teacher Issues


Rural Classroom: Importance of Cooperative Learning Webinar

The Center for Midwestern Initiatives hosted the webinar Rural Classroom: Importance of Cooperative Learning—Rural Trust Global Teacher Fellows' Perspective on November 10, 2011.


Rural Trust Launches Global Teacher Fellowship Program

Get ready for 2012! The Rural Trust's Global Teacher Fellowship program is now accepting applications for the Summer 2012 Fellowships.


Alabama Teachers In Political and Legal Crosshairs

Alabama uses back-door methods to limit the political activity of teachers.


Rural Trust Launches Regional Center

The Rural Trust recently announced the launch of the Center for Midwestern Initiatives. The Center will build partnerships, strengthen philanthropic assets for rural schools and communities, and promote place-based education.


Rural School Innovations Webinar: The Niswonger Foundation's Northeast Tennessee College and Career Ready Consortium

The fourth webinar in a series on rural school innovations is scheduled for September 21st. Sign up now.


Paying Teachers for Performance: Issues and Dilemmas for Rural Schools, Teacher Tenure

RPM’s occasional series on pay-for-performance looks at the issue of teacher tenure and reviews some of the many ways that states changed tenure and related laws in their 2011 legislative sessions.
Date: July 29, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: Teacher Issues


Annenberg Public Policy Center News

Working with the Annenberg Public Policy Center, the Rural School and Community Trust provides support for rural schools in the form of scholarships and student-focused programs.


The Influence of Teachers: Reflections on Teaching and Leadership

The Influence of Teachers: Reflections on Teaching and LeadershipIn this urgent and insightful book, John Merrow draws on his experience as a reporter for PBS and NPR to examine this question and others, and offer possibilities and solutions for a new education system.


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.


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.


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?
Date: April 26, 2011
Related Categories: Administrator, Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, Teacher Issues


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.


Wyoming Backs Off Local Control

The Wyoming legislature passed several measures the will decrease the control local school districts have over spending and teacher evaluations.


Rural Trust Webinar Series Features Rural Innovations: Search Institute: Building Assets-Reducing Risks

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 March webinar featured the Search Institute’s BARR program, which builds developmental assets among high school students.


Rural Trust Signs Letter On Highly Qualified Teachers

The Rural Trust has joined a number of other organizations in expressing concern that a recent change in the law defining “highly qualified teachers” under No Child Left Behind will make it harder to ensure that students facing the most educational challenges get the best prepared and experienced teachers.
Date: February 24, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, Teacher Issues, Title I


Taking Advantage: The Rural Competitive Preference in the Investing in Innovation Program

Taking Advantage: The Rural Competitive Preference in the Investing in Innovation ProgramThis Rural Trust report analyzes the impact of the rural competitive preference in the first round of i3 grants issued by the U.S. Department of Education. The analysis considers whether the rural claim was well-made by the applicants and well-evaluated by the readers. In short, the federal grant program did little to attract authentically rural innovations to address the challenges of high-needs rural schools.


Average Base Salaries for Public School Teachers, 2008

Rural teacher salaries are lower on average than salaries in urban, suburban, or town settings.
Date: January 25, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: Graphs, School Location, Teacher Issues


Facts and Figures About Instructional Expenditures for Rural Students

Question: In which 11 states do average instructional expenditures fall under $4,500 per rural student?

Date: December 21, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, School Finance/Funding, Teacher Issues


2010 Rural School and Community Trust / Fund For Teachers Grant Recipients

Read about the 2010 Rural School and Community Trust / Fund for Teachers grant recipients, and browse the curriculum they developed with their funds.


Small Arkansas Town Focus of Secretary Visit

The small town of Hamburg, Arkansas made the news earlier this month when Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Deputy Secretary John White visited Hamburg schools as part of an eight-state tour. The visit highlighted two programs at the diverse 2,100-student district in southeast Arkansas....


Teacher Mobility by School Locale, 2008-09

Teacher Retention and Attrition by School Locale…
Date: August 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, School Location, Teacher Issues


Rural District's Successful Literacy Program Making a Big Difference

In Mena, Arkansas, students are reading. A lot. Test scores are up significantly. Title I funding makes the district’s comprehensive literacy program possible. But programs like this one could be in jeopardy.
Date: August 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, School Finance/Funding, Teacher Issues, Title I


New Louisiana Law Offers Freedom From Many School Regulations

A new law in Louisiana could undermine many other laws and policies related to education, including student support and student-teacher ratios.


Principal Mobility by School Locale, 2008-09

Rural and small town principals are more likely to leave and less likely to stay in their schools than are suburban and city principals.
Date: July 23, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, School Location, Teacher Issues


Total Current Expenditures per Pupil in 2007-08, by Locale and Poverty Level

High poverty rural and small-town schools spend less to educate students than low poverty rural and small-town schools.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, School Location, Teacher Issues


Average Salary for Teachers in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools, 2007-08

Teachers in rural and small town schools earn less than teachers in other public schools.
Date: May 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, School Location, Teacher Issues


Education Official Visits Rural Schools Partnership Conference

The newly christened Ozarks Teacher Corps is an innovative partnership that will be worth watching to see if it can be replicated in other rural areas, said John White, a U.S. Department of Education leader who attended the annual Rural Schools Partnership conference on May 6, 2010 in Thomasville, Mo.


Quick and Dirty: The RPM Take on A Blueprint for Reform

The Obama administration has issued its goals for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. We share what we think…


RPM's Take on the Teacher and Principal Provisions of Blueprint for Reform

Blueprint requires states to rate teachers and principals according to the test scores of their students, a provision RPM thinks will drive teachers away from the schools where they may be most needed…
Date: March 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: Education Policy and Activism, No Child Left Behind, Teacher Issues, Title I


RPM's Take on the Reward/Challenge Provisions of Blueprint for Reform

Blueprint puts in place new rating categories, Reward and Challenge, for schools, districts, and states...


RPM's Take on the English Language Learner (ELL) Provisions of Blueprint for Reform

Blueprint keeps formula grants in place for ELL programs and requires states to put in grade level proficiency standards…


RPM's Take on Rural Language in Blueprint for Reform

Blueprint includes language about rural schools, but little of it will actually make much positive difference…


The RPM Run-Down of Formula and Competitive Grants Proposed in Blueprint

Blueprint suggests a number of programs that will be available to schools through grants. RPM has categorized those programs based on whether Blueprint identifies the program as available on a formula or competitive basis...


Mississippi Corporal Punishment Lawsuit

A federal lawsuit seeks a ban on corporal punishment in Mississippi…
Date: February 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline, Teacher Issues, Youth


South Carolina Begins Addressing Expected Teacher Shortage

Many states are facing what is expected to be a major shortage of teachers sometime in the next decade. South Carolina is taking steps to attract teachers now…
Date: January 28, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: School-Community Partnerships, Teacher Issues


Two Stimulus Programs Attempt to Push School Reform

Two federal grant programs, both financed with stimulus funding, are trying to get states and school districts to make major changes to their educational structures and approaches. The programs seem divergent, but both emphasize common curriculum standards, tracking student data, and evaluating teacher performance on the basis of student test scores. RPM looks at how Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation are likely to affect rural schools…


Teaching Performance Assessments: A Discussion of Review of Teaching Performance Assessments for Use in Human Capital Management

The Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation federal grant programs include provisions that push states and districts to measure teacher performance based on the test scores of their students. It remains to be seen how strict these requirements will be and how much they will be tied to other performance issues like pay, promotion, and tenure. It is, however, clear that states and districts will be required to do more around issues of teacher evaluation. This paper examines seven systems for assessing teacher performance…
Date: January 28, 2010
Related Categories: RSIN Premium Content, Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: Race to the Top, RPM Premium Exclusive, Teacher Issues


Race to Top Revisions Slightly Better for Rural Schools

New guidelines for Race to the Top applications are slightly better for rural schools…


Race to the Top Criteria: The RPM Analysis

RPM provides a brief interpretation of the 19 criteria on which RTTT awards points to state grant proposals…


Here and There Across the Rural U.S.

State and regional education news... 
Date: December 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, School Finance/Funding, Teacher Issues


Washington Funding Ruling Overturned

Washington court rules that differences in salaries are not a concern…
Date: November 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding, Teacher Issues


2009 Rural School and Community Trust / Fund For Teachers Grant Recipients

Read about the 2009 Rural School and Community Trust / Fund for Teachers grant recipients, and browse the curriculum they developed with their funds.


Why Rural Matters 2009: State and Regional Challenges and Opportunities

Why Rural Matters 2009Why Rural Matters 2009 is the fifth in a series of biennial reports analyzing the contexts and conditions of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the need for policymakers to address rural education issues in their respective states.


Voices from the Fisheries Handbook

Voices from the Fisheries HandbookVoices From the Fisheries Handbook is an oral history handbook written for teachers as well as marine-oriented and other community organizations. The handbook includes information of how to develop projects and conduct oral history interviews.


What is the Targeted Reading Intervention?

Through a partnership with the National Research Center for Rural Education Support, located at the University of North Carolina, the Rural Trust can offer evidence-based reading strategies delivered by the classroom teacher, called the Targeted Reading Intervention (TRI). These diagnostically based strategies have proven to significantly improve early reading in struggling and non-struggling readers in rural schools.


College Offers New Major in Rural Studies

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College launches a degree program in Rural Studies; admissions are currently open.


Teacher Turnover, 2003-04 to 2004-05 School Years

Figures from the U.S. Department of Education show teacher turnover rates are lower in small town and rural areas...
Date: May 27, 2009
Related Categories: Administrator, Rural Policy Matters, Teacher
Related Tags: Graphs, Teacher Issues


South Dakota Judge Rules Funding Not Unconstitutional

A South Dakota judge has found that the state’s funding system needs improvement but is not unconstitutional.....


Understanding and Developing Programs for English Language Learners in Rural Districts

Across the country English Language Learners (ELL) are enrolling in rural schools in record numbers. Many schools that have never enrolled ELL students find themselves stumped about how to best respond when the first few ELL students enroll or when their numbers rapidly increase. In this edition of RPM-PX we share a report that explores how rural school districts respond to emergent ELL student communities.


Give Every Child More than the Best Seat in the House (Chamber)

Rural Trust President Rachel Tompkins helps put the letter of a South Carolina teen in national perspective...


2008 Rural School and Community Trust / Fund For Teachers Grant Recipients

Read about the 2008 Rural School and Community Trust / Fund for Teachers grant recipients, and browse the curriculum they developed with their funds.


RSIN Webinar: What Makes a Good Rural High School, Mar. 18, 2009

What Makes a Good Rural High School was the title of the March 2009 Rural School and Community Trust webinar.


Rural Education Working Group 2009: "Healthy Rural Schools, Healthy Rural Communities"

You are invited to share and learn at the eighth annual Rural Education Working Group meeting of rural activists from across the United States gathered at Kanuga Conference Center in the beautiful North Carolina mountains near Hendersonville, NC, April 19-21, 2009.


Education Funding in the Stimulus: An Overview

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides significant additional funding for public schools. Details are still forthcoming, but we outline the basic funding streams and their requirements…


Why Rural Matters 2007: The Realities of Rural Education Growth

Why Rural Matters 2007Why Rural Matters 2007 is the fourth in a series of biennial reports analyzing the importance of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the urgency for policymakers in each state to address rural education issues.


Pennsylvania School Funding Formula Report

Pennsylvania School Funding ReportPennsylvania has enacted substantial changes in its school funding formula, including a factor that adjusts a district's state aid based on estimates of the relative cost of hiring teachers in that particular district compared to the cost of hiring equally qualified teachers in other districts.


Rural Trust President Rachel Tompkins Promoting National Push for Advanced Certification for Educational Leaders

Rachel Tompkins, president of the Rural School and Community Trust, is a member of a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ steering committee composed of educational and business leaders overseeing a national effort to develop an advanced certification for educational leaders. This initiative will include an advanced certification for both principals and teacher leaders.
Date: February 26, 2009
Related Categories: Media, Teacher
Related Tags: Teacher Issues


About the Rural School Innovation Network

The Rural School and Community Trust invites you to join the Rural School Innovation Network (RSIN). This new initiative is a mutual-aid network for sharing innovations that improve rural education, especially in the poorest rural communities in the United States. As an alliance of rural education and community advocates, the RSIN will collectively work to connect schools with their communities to improve the outcomes for school-aged children and young adults.


RSIN Webinar: Learning for All Students: Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners in Rural Places, January 28, 2009

English Language Learners in Rural Places was the topic of the first Webinar of Winter 2009.


Invitation to Join

An Invitation from the Director


School Discipline: Special Edition

Across the country disturbing patterns are emerging in the ways schools deal with students on disciplinary issues. This special edition of RPM takes an in-depth look at some of these issues with emphasis on how communities can get involved to ensure that all students have the best educational opportunities in school environments that are safe and supportive...


Discipline of Students with Disabilities

Addressing behavior problems in students with disabilities requires knowledge of the law and specific processes...


Disproportionate Discipline: African-American Students in U.S. Schools

African-American students are more likely than other students to be suspended, expelled, or disciplined with corporal punishment. There is no evidence that African-American students have a higher incidence of serious misbehavior than other students. Rather, they receive harsher punishments for more minor and subjective infractions...


Finding the Discipline Data

Most schools collect a good bit of data on behavior incidents and disciplinary actions. Learn how to find that data…


Graph: To What Extent Are Parents Involved in School Discipline Issues?

To what extent are parents involved in school discipline issues?


Mississippi Communities Take Responsibility for School Discipline

Citizens in Sunflower County, Mississippi are using policy to take responsibility for what happens to students in their schools…


Improving the Disciplinary Climate: More Options for Communities

A variety of approaches can be useful to communities to help improve the disciplinary climate of their schools…


Positive Behavior Intervention Supports: A School-Wide Approach to Improving Behavior and School Climate

The best way to address school discipline issues is to create an environment where mutual respect is a primary value and students are taught and supported to behave in productive and responsible ways…


Montana Court Denies Relief

Financial problems in rural Montana districts are acknowledged, but the court doesn’t order relief…


The Legal Landscape of School Discipline

Both schools and students have rights and responsibilities when it comes to discipline…


The Other School Violence

Parents have little recourse when their children are treated violently at school, at least in many states…


"Are Zero Tolerance Policies Effective in the Schools?" A Review

Many schools and districts across the country have adopted “zero tolerance” policies that impose specific, often severe, penalties on students for behavior infractions. Research suggests these policies may be counter-productive…


Home Grown Teachers

An extensive locally developed and locally funded grow-your-own-teacher program is underway in North Carolina's Bertie County, the state's poorest school system in terms of local funding.


Rural PreK Challenges

Rural communities face more challenges in providing preschool programs and as a result rural children are less likely to participate, which has consequences for schools, families, and the children themselves. A recent report explores some of the challenges and recommends ways to level the playing field...


"Placing Teachers?"

Some important insights for the appropriate training of teachers for rural schools...


Home Ownership is a Wonderful Thing: Teachers Share Their Experiences with the Arkansas Teacher Housing Assistance Program

RPM talks to four teachers who have participated in Arkansas's unique program to assist teachers in high-priority school districts with housing expenses...


State Housing Assistance Programs for Teachers: A Sampler

Several states provide some kind of assistance to teachers as a recruitment incentive for hard-to-staff schools. We provide information about some of those programs.


Rural School Funding News: Minnesota Districts Seeking Local Funding

Rural Minnesotans vote on school funding initiatives...
Date: November 06, 2008
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region, Teacher
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding, Teacher Issues


Rural School Funding News: Wide-Ranging Developments in Arizona

Developments in Arizona could mean major policy changes for rural schools...


Maine's Struggle with Consolidation Law Continues

The Maine Coalition to Save Schools filed a citizen initiated petition to repeal the state's school consolidation law in October...


A Win for Everyone: Arkansas's Teacher Housing Incentives

Recruiting teachers is no small challenge for many rural schools especially those in communities where many people struggle economically...


2008 State Election Update: A Sampler

Several states had education issues on the ballot. We take a look at some of them...


2009 REWG: Make Your Plans

The North Carolina state Rural Education Working Group is hosting the 8th annual REWG meeting in April. Members describe why the meeting is important to them...


Rachel's Notes: October 22, 2008

The Forum for Education and Democracy hosted another briefing on Capital Hill last week that was first rate. The topic "Assessments for Learning: A Briefing on Performance-Based Assessments" is close to our hearts here at the Rural Trust.



Student Loan Forgiveness Options for Teachers and Schools

Federal student loan forgiveness programs can help schools, especially low-income schools, recruit teachers...


Wyoming Attracts Montana Teachers

Montana is losing teachers to Wyoming...


South Dakota Lawsuit Highlights Rural Issues

South Dakota case highlights complexities for poorly-funded but high-achieving rural schools...


State Student Loan Forgiveness Programs for Teachers, A Sampler

Many states offer programs to increase the number of teachers...


TEACH Grants Can Help Some Prospective Teachers

The new federal TEACH program can help students become teachers, and low-income schools should know how to use the program...


Rachel's Notes: October 9, 2008

In recent months, the outline of a new Elementary and Secondary Education Act has begun to take shape. It will not be called No Child Left Behind and will likely go further in actually helping children learn.



Rural Teacher Salaries: Big Threat to Teacher Quality

Rural teachers are paid less than suburban and urban teachers. This is true almost everywhere. It’s true at all levels of teaching experience and teacher education. And it’s an especially serious problem in lower-wealth rural districts...


Rural School Funding News: South Carolina Rural Schools Have Their Day in Court

In a dramatic and at times heated exchange, South Carolina Supreme Court justices assured lawyers for plaintiff districts that they recognize the severe discrepancies in the quality of education in poor and rural schools in the state....


Rachel's Notes: June 5, 2008

President of the Rural School and Community Trust, Rachel Tompkins posts her musings for your consideration, push back and feedback every couple of weeks.


Review: “Democracy at Risk: The Need for a New Federal Policy in Education,” The Forum for Education and Democracy, April 2008

The relatively low international ranking of U.S. educational achievement and attainment is the stuff of numerous reports...


Some Lessons from the Rural Experience in School Finance Reform

History provides some important insights about what makes funding systems work for rural schools...


Rachel's Notes: May 6, 2008

President of the Rural School and Community Trust, Rachel Tompkins posts her musings for your consideration, push back and feedback every couple of weeks.


RSIN Webinar: Student Engagement and Revitalizing Communities through Place Based Learning, April 29, 2008

Review strategies and successful examples for engaging disenfranchised students through Place-Based Learning and how your community can institute changes for revitalization activities.


State Updates: South Dakota

South Dakota education updates including teacher salaries, consolidation, scholarships, and more...


Rural School Funding News: New Education Clause Proposed in South Carolina

The ongoing effort to improve educational opportunity for all students in the state is taking a new direction in South Carolina....


Rural Schools: Growing, Diverse, and ... Complicated

Rural students are a diverse group and their numbers are growing. Their situations and their schools, however, are not simple, and their needs are varied. If presidential candidates and policymakers pay attention, they will find that many state governments have not served their rural students well, especially where need is greatest.


Youth-Led Poverty Reduction Project

In 2006, students in St. Helena, Louisiana worked to ensure that low-income members of their community received their Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)—a provision in the federal tax code targeting people of incomes below $35,000 to offset the burden of social security taxes.


Why Rural Matters 2007: Gauge and Indicator Results

Gauge and Indicator Results from Why Rural Matters 2007, including six focus areas: Importance, Socioeconomic Challenges, Student Diversity, Policy Context, Outcomes, and Rural Education Priority.


Why Rural Matters 2007: Major Findings

Major findings from Why Rural Matters 2007: The Realities of Rural Education Growth.


Why Rural Matters 2007: Press Room

Media links and information for Why Rural Matters 2007: The Realities of Rural Education Growth.


Why Rural Matters 2007: Print Edition

Why Rural Matters 2007: Print EditionWhy Rural Matters 2007: The Realities of Rural Education Growth is a snapshot of rural education that provides essential information on the condition of rural education in the 50 states and uncovers new trends and challenges facing rural educators.


Quality Teachers: Issues, Challenges, and Solutions for North Carolina's Most Overlooked Rural Communities

Quality Teachers: Issues, Challenges, and Solutions for North Carolina's Rural Communities"Quality Teachers: Issues, Challenges, and Solutions for North Carolina's Most Overlooked Rural Communities describes the challenges facing low-wealth rural school districts in eastern North Carolina as they relate to issues of teacher quality and summarizes the rural-specific strategies going on around the country to respond to these challenges. The report also covers how North Carolina is doing in each strategy, and provides additional recommendations based on the specific circumstances in North Carolina that would help address the pressing issue of providing all children in North Carolina the teachers they deserve. "


Mississippi Parents and Students Hold Public Schools Accountable

Indianola, Mississippi is one of those places where parents and students in public school must work hard, continuously, to push the schools to educate students and to hold the schools accountable to the people they are supposed to serve.


Connecting School and Community in Northeastern North Carolina

The Rural School and Community Trust is working in North Carolina to build the capacity of grassroots leaders and community-based organizations to engage in local school reform in vulnerable rural communities, build strong out-of-school supports for student learning, and establish a network of rural activists who will develop and advocate for policies and practices to improve education for students throughout the state.


Learning with Public Purpose

Learning with Public Purpose (LPP) is the Rural Trust’s answer to simultaneously improving rural schools and communities. When student learning contributes to the larger public purposes of the community, young people develop the habits of citizenship and service while also deepening their understanding of knowledge in core subjects. The community reaps the benefits of what young people can accomplish when they are engaged, challenged, and valued as citizens of their place.


Student Achievement and the Distribution of Human and Financial Resources in Mississippi School Districts

Student Achievement and the Distribution of Human and Financial Resources in Mississippi School DistrictsThis report suggests that the distribution of both school funding and qualified teachers are primary forces behind Mississippi's achievement gaps. It finds that districts with students facing the most severe challenges to high academic achievement are also the districts that have the most limited resources with which to address those challenges. Conversely, districts with students facing the fewest challenges are also the ones with the most resources.


Why Rural Matters 2005: The Facts About Rural Education in the 50 States

Why Rural Matters 2005Why Rural Matters 2005 is the third in a series of reports analyzing the importance of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the urgency with which policymakers in each state should address the problems of rural education.


Why Rural Matters 2005: News Conference Transcript

This transcript of the virtual news conference for Why Rural Matters 2005 features Rachel Tompkins, Ed.D., President, Rural School and Community Trust; Jerry Johnson, Ed.D., State and Regional Policy Studies Manager; and Marty Strange, Director of Policy Programs at the Rural Trust.


Why Rural Matters 2005: Print Edition

Why Rural Matters 2005: Print EditionWhy Rural Matters 2005 is the third in a series of reports analyzing the importance of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the urgency with which policymakers in each state should address the problems of rural education.


Letters to the Next President: What We Can Do About the Real Crisis in Public Education

Letters to the Next PresidentIn the 2004 publication Letters to the Next President, more than 30 education experts, elected officials, practitioners, students, community leaders, and parents wrote to our next president, offering suggestions on improving critical problems in public education such as equitable funding resources and saving small schools.


Good Rural High School Case Study: Shaw High School, Shaw, Mississippi

Shaw High SchoolThis case study of Shaw High School, Shaw, Mississippi using the Good Rural High School assessment rubric developed by the Rural School and Community Trust provides an exemplar study in rural high school improvement.


Teachers and Teaching Conditions in Rural Texas

Teachers and Teaching Conditions in Rural TexasThis report reveals a number of areas of significant deficiencies as it examines the characteristics of the teaching environment and the teacher corps in rural Texas schools--where almost half a million students go to school each day.


Teachers and Teaching Conditions in Rural New Mexico

Teachers and Teaching Conditions in Rural New MexicoThis report identifies 10 areas that present potential challenges for rural schools and the diverse populations in rural schools in New Mexico: 1. Challenges Related to Demographics; 2. Student Discipline Concerns; 3. Teacher Qualifications; 4. Ethnicity of Educators Compared to Students; 5. Principals' Salary; 6. Staffing Patterns; 7. Class Size; 8. Teacher Shortages and Unfilled Vacancies; 9. Professional Development and Perceived Usefulness; and 10. Incentives for Professional Development.


Alternative Ways to Achieve Cost Effective Schools

There are legitimate concerns about the administrative costs of running small school districts. It has been widely assumed that the only way to reduce these costs is to achieve economies of scale by eliminating school districts through consolidation. Proposals to consolidate districts often include assurances that closing districts does not mean that schools have to close. The idea is that we can reduce administrative costs without losing the educational benefits of small schools.


The Competitive Disadvantage: Teacher Compensation in Rural America

The Competitive DisadvantageThe No Child Left Behind Act envisions a "highly qualified" teacher in every American classroom. It is a noble goal, to be sure, but according to this report, it is a goal that presents special challenges to already stressed rural schools struggling to recruit and retain qualified teachers. A severe teacher shortage, combined with rural teacher salaries that lag significantly behind those of urban and suburban teachers, will make it difficult to achieve the vision articulated in NCLB. The Competitive Disadvantage explores the latest data and research relevant to rural teacher compensation and suggests policy directions that can help guarantee that no rural children are left behind in the national quest for educational excellence.