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Report: Leveling The Playing Field For Rural Students

Leveling the Playing FieldLimited access to advanced coursework, medical care, food and employment opportunities continue to daunt students in many rural communities, according to a report released today by AASA, The School Superintendents Association, and The Rural School and Community Trust.

Rural public schools worry they will be left behind

 With a new administration in the White House that prefers  "school-choice” approaches — favoring charter schools and private-school vouchers so parents can opt out of public schools and bring taxpayer dollars with them — the nation’s rural schools are left to wonder about their fate.

Rural Snapshot: Dillon County, South Carolina

Dillon County, South Carolina is a poor rural community located along interstate 95, about 70 miles northwest of Myrtle Beach.  In Dillon County, roughly two-thirds of students are African-American, one-third are white and 90 percent are low-income.

Investing in Innovation (i3) Rural Grantee Webinar set for June 22, 2016

The U.S. Department of Education's Investing in Innovation (i3) Program recently announced a June 22 webinar with two i3 grantees working to improve achievement in rural high schools.

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.

Read for Success Report Addresses Summer Learning Loss in Poor and Rural Communities

In May 2015, Reading is Fundamental (RIF) released the report entitled, Read for Success: Combating the Summer Learning Slide. The study was designed by RIF to determine how schools and communities in the poorest and/or most rural areas could address summer learning loss, and ultimately the achievement gap, through access to opportunity, books, and learning resources.

Virginia Rural Elementary Schools Receive Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children Grants

Two rural public elementary schools in Virginia will receive grants of $50,000 each from the Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children, which provides educational resources to underfunded schools in rural communities.

Administration Releases Report, Opportunity for All: Fighting Rural Child Poverty

On May 20, 2015, the White House released the report, entitled, Opportunity for All: Fighting Rural Child Poverty. The report examines poverty in rural areas, compares urban and rural poverty rates, discusses how safety net programs reduce rural poverty, and highlights the Administration's efforts and proposals to reduce poverty and promote opportunity in rural communities.

Listen to IEL's Community Schools and Equity Recorded Webinar Series

Beginning in January 2015, the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) has hosted a series of community schools and equity webinars. The webinars explore how to utilize the full-service community school approach, both in policy and in practice. In addition, these webinars also discuss methods of closing the equity and opportunity gaps for all children.

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.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm to School Grant Applications Due May 20, 2015

On March 16, 2015, the US Department of Agriculture released the Fiscal Year 2016 Farm to School Grant Applications. The purpose of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program is to assist eligible entities in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools.

April 1, 2015 is Deadline for Farmers to Nominate their Public School District to Receive Math and Science Grants

America's Farmers Grow Rural Education is back for a fourth year of partnering with farmers to nominate their local public school district to compete for a grant of $10,000 or $25,000 to enhance math and science education.

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.

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.

Register Now for Feb. 12 Webinar: Rural Challenges and Resources Needed for Dropout Prevention

The high school dropout problem presents unique challenges for rural schools and communities. This Feb. 12 webinar will reveal the severity of the dropout problem in rural America, risk factors for dropping out, and best-practice solutions.

Early Childhood Education: Few States Measuring Up

Education Week’s 2015 Quality Counts focuses on what states are doing to support learning for very young children.

Half of U.S. Students Eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch

More students in the U.S. are eligible for free and reduced-price lunches than at any time in history, but some miss the point in quibbles over definitions.

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.

Rural-Urban College Completion Gap Growing

Residents of rural counties are less likely than their urban counterparts to hold a four-year college degree—and the gap is growing.

School Finance Overview: Arizona and California

Attorneys for the state Legislature of Arizona are back in court seeking a stay in a Court ruling requiring increased funding for schools. In California, schools are getting more funding along with greater flexibility and a mandate to work more closely with parents and community organizations. 

Long-Running South Carolina Funding Lawsuit Decided

The South Carolina Supreme Court has ruled the state is failing its constitutional duty to fund “minimally adequate” schools in low-wealth rural school districts.

Rural Districts Key Plaintiffs in Recent School Finance Lawsuits

As states have failed to restore recession-era school funding cuts, citizens and school districts are seeking redress in the courts.

USDA's Farm to School Grant Program Enables Schools to Bring Healthy, Locally-grown Food to the School Cafeteria

Through the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm to School Grant Program, schools are able to incorporate fresh, local food into their school meals and teach students about healthy eating through hands-on experience in their own school gardens as well as nutrition education in the classroom.

Demographics, Locale Influential in College-Going Rates

Most recent American high school graduates spend some time in college. But students who graduate from high schools with certain characteristics are much less likely to make it to college than their peers.

More Indicators American Child Well-Being is Declining

More American children and youth are homeless than ever before; cuts to recess and P.E. in school may be damaging more than students’ physical health.

Coalition for Teaching Quality Policy Recommendations

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

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.

Poverty Rates Unchanged for Rural Children

Newly released census data find that overall rates of poverty in the U.S. declined very slightly in 2013. Child poverty rates also fell slightly. Yet nearly one in four American children live in poverty and rates vary widely among states, across racial/ethnic groups, and between place types.

Action on School Finance Lawsuits Heats Up

Courts in Washington and Texas have issued rulings favoring school districts, and a new school finance lawsuit is filed in Mississippi.

Rural School and Community Trust to Participate in Rural Education National Forum, Oct. 27-28

The Rural Education National Forum, hosted by Battelle for Kids, offers participants an opportunity to share successful models of transformation and highlight powerful instructional and leadership practices underway in rural districts across the country. Rural Trust Communications Director, Mr. Robert Mahaffey will participate in panel discussions at the Columbus, Ohio event.

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

Report Reveals that Rural Children More Likely to Rely on Medicaid and State-Funded Insurance Programs than their Urban Counterparts

On September 10, 2014, First Focus, a children's advocacy organization, released a report which shows that children in rural communities are more likely than their urban counterparts to get health care through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid.

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.

Summer Crop of Finance Studies

Back to school season sees a fresh set of studies on the effects of school finance systems.

North Carolina Vouchers: Unconstitutional

The Tarheel State’s controversial voucher program is an unconstitutional use of taxpayer dollars and fails other important aspects of education law, according to an August court ruling.

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.

Schools May Still Apply to Offer Free Lunches to All Students

School districts still have time to apply to a federal program that allows high-poverty schools to offer free meals to all students.
Date: July 28, 2014
Related Categories: Administrator, Community Advocate, Parent, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Programs, Income Related Issues

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.

Why Rural Matters 2013-14 Released

The Rural Trust releases Why Rural Matters 2013–14.

Early Childhood Supports Key

A new guide makes a compelling case that states can improve educational and economic outcomes with policies and programs that support young children and their families. The guide also includes links to efforts that some states are already implementing successfully.
Date: May 27, 2014
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, Pre-K and Kindergarden, School Location

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).

Facts and Figures About Children and Poverty

Question: Is a child more likely to live in poverty in a rural or urban area?

Rural Trust Announces the 2014 Rural Leonore Annenberg School Fund Grantees

The Rural Trust announces that two rural elementary schools will receive grants from the Leonore Annenberg School Fund.

Students Lead Poverty Reduction

In rural St. Gabriel, Louisiana, students are continuing their work to reduce poverty in the local community.

Community-School Collaborations Improve Outcomes

A newly released guide, co-sponsored by the Rural Trust, urges school districts to expand partnerships with their communities to improve student outcomes.

"Community Schools" Concept Gaining Ground

The idea that schools must be the centers of communities where educators, families, and community partners work together is gaining momentum as seen at the 2014 National Forum of the Coalition for Community Schools.

Partnerships, NOT Pushouts: New "Whole-Child" Policy Guide for School Board Members

On April 22, 2014, a new "Whole-Child" policy guide was released which details how school board members can lead the way in securing a high-quality education for each and every student in their district.

Ensuring that High-Poverty Schools are Hunger-Free Through Community Eligibility

The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) as offered by the National School Lunch Program, provides an alternative approach for offering school meals to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools in low income areas, instead of collecting individual applications for free and reduced price meals.

Register Now for Summer Food Assistance Call

The White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the US Department of Agriculture Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships have invited stakeholders to join Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and White House officials for a conference call on Thursday, May 15, at 1:00 PM Eastern Time.

CNCS Announces FY 2014 Funding Opportunity for Indian Tribes

With the FY 2014 AmeriCorps Indian Tribes Notice of Funding Opportunity, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) seeks to prioritize the investment of national service resources in economic opportunity, education, veterans and military families, and disaster services in Native American communities.

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.

USDA Announces FY 2014 Funds Availability for Household Water Well System Grants

On March 26, 2014, United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development announced the available funding of $1,019,000 for the Household Water Well System grants for the fiscal year 2014.

Report Finds Negative Effects of Recession on School Funding

A recent report finds that education funding has declined in most states since the Great Recession—and that funding has become less fair.

USDA Announces Request for Applications for FY 2015 Farm to School Grants

US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm to School grants help eligible schools improve the health and well-being of their students and connect schools with local farmers, ranchers and food businesses. This grant program provides new economic opportunities to food producers and bring healthy, local offerings into school cafeterias.

Office of Civil Rights Guidance for Schools

Guidance issued earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights addresses what states and districts should do to ensure equal access to educational resources and opportunities.

Going Two Ways at Once: Distance as a Defining Rural Characteristic

The RPM series “What Makes Rural Rural?" examines characteristics of rural places and implications for policymakers, philanthropists, and others interested in making the most of resources and opportunity. In this second installment we look at the effects of distance on rural residents, schools, and communities.

Urban School Closures Similar to Rural Closures

The National Opportunity to Learn Campaign addresses school closures in urban areas.

Promise Zones Include Two Rural Areas

Earlier this month President Obama named the first five Promise Zones, including two multi-county rural regions.

Facts and Figures: How Many Children Attend America's Poorest 10% of Rural Schools?

Question: How many children attend America’s poorest 10% of rural schools?

There's Poverty...

Thoughts on what it means to talk about poverty and to address it in very distressed communities.

All Children Everywhere

The nation’s first rural Promise Neighborhood is entering its third year. In this issue of RPM we talk with some of its staff and hear about approaches, emerging successes, and opportunities.

Family Engagement: Lasting Positive Impact

Family engagement is the one of the pillars of the work Partners for Education is building in the Promise Neighborhood. We explore some of the ways the Berea initiative builds relationships across schools and communities.

Promise Neighborhoods: Promising, Challenging, Exhilarating

Three rural Promise Neighborhood grant recipients offer perspective on the work.

Rural Education Summit at Berea College

A national Rural Education Summit spotlights the need for investment in rural communities and schools and some of the rewards those investments bring.

California State Senator Liu Hosts Community Schools Bus Tour

A tour of California schools using the community-schools model to support children and families garners significant attention.

New Reports Address Important Issues for Student and Community Well-Being

Recent reports highlight key issues for improving outcomes for students, especially those in economically challenged communities.

North Carolina Launches Dramatic Changes in Education

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

Register for Racial Healing Network Regional Calls

The Within Our Lifetime Network invites you to connect with others in your region who are committed to ending the impact of racism in our lifetime. The Within Our Lifetime Network,  which works to promotes racial healing and racial equity, invites you to join one of six scheduled calls in early September.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Announces $5 Million Investment to Support Children's Educational Success from Birth to Age 8

On August 26, 2013, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) announced a $5 million investment to identify and cultivate innovations in the growing field of family engagement that support children's educational success from birth to 8 years old.

Everyone a Stakeholder: D. P. Cooper Elementary Leverages Rural Assets for Students and Community

D. P. Cooper Elementary has marshaled non-traditional resources, including many of the best things about being rural, to benefit both students and community.

Schools Prove They Can Make Dramatic Improvements With Their Own Teachers: No Sanctions Necessary

The Schools to Watch: School Transformation Network is proving that formerly low-performing middle schools can turn themselves around by focusing on high quality relationships and positive culture and climate.

Building a Great School: No Punitive Sanctions Allowed

Two principals share how a process to build trust and collaboration and empower teachers has led to happy productive schools and soaring student achievement.

Facts and Figures About Median Household Income in the U.S.

Question: What was the median household income in non-metro counties in the U.S. in 2009?

Facts and Figures About Salaries in Rural and Metropolitan Areas

Question: What is the average pay of a  job in a rural area compared to a job in a metropolitan area?
Date: May 30, 2013
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, Income Related Issues

The Health and Future of Our Community

Students lead economic development prospects in their communities.

School Turnaround Policies Unlikely to Improve Student Performance, According to Report

A new study argues that most current school reforms are unlikely to improve education and may weaken student performance, school climate, and communities. It argues instead for sustained investment in high-poverty schools, support for teachers, and authentic engagement of parents and communities in the development of reforms.

Grandparent Brings Constitutional Challenge to Idaho School Fees

Plaintiffs in a new lawsuit say fees violate the state constitution provision that guarantees "free, common schools" to students. The suit invokes a long-dormant school funding case in the state.

California Law Requiring Charters to Serve Free and Reduced Price Meals Vetoed

Governor Brown's veto revives questions about how well loose oversight serves poor students in charter schools.

STEM STAR Offers Effective Model for Technology Integration in Rural Schools

The STEM STAR model trains high school students to work with teachers and other students to expand their technology skills, integrate technology in teaching and learning, and develop and evaluate substantial technology-infused science project.
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, Investing in Innovation, Technology

New Ruling Is Good News for At-Risk Preschoolers in North Carolina

A North Carolina court has agreed that the state cannot create barriers that prevent children from enrolling in pre-kindergarten programs.
Date: August 28, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, Rural School Funding News

Fostering Happiness and Success in the Classroom

Two rural North Carolina elementary schools have been selected as recipients of awards from the Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children.
Date: July 27, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Elementary School, Income Related Issues

Chelsea Jerome: 2012 Rural Recipient of Scholarship from Leonore Annenberg College Scholarship Fund

A Vermont student is the latest rural recipient of a scholarship from the Leonore Annenberg College Scholarship Fund.
Date: July 27, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues

New Report Finds Harmful Health Effects of Harsh Discipline

A new study concludes that harsh and exclusionary school discipline practices can have negative effects on students' mental and physical health and positive discipline can help improve overall well-being. 
Date: July 27, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline, Income Related Issues

Education Funding Reports Grade States and Districts

Several recent analyses of education spending have been released, and rural school finance advocates will recognize the themes. 

Major School Finance Litigation Underway Again in Kansas

Following a strong decision in their favor, Kansas districts are now challenging the state’s underfunding of education over the past six years.

Rural Louisiana Students Continue to Help Build Community Wealth

Student-run tax centers and other youth-led programs have returned over $320,000 to East Iberville residents this year and are building important school-community connections.

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.

Rural Leonore Annenberg Scholars Appreciate Opportunity

Each year the Rural Trust works with the Leonore Annenberg Scholarship Fund to identify a rural student for the generous Leonore Annenberg Scholarship. Those Scholars have been very successful at their selective colleges. Some of the recipients reflect on what the Scholarship means for them.
Date: February 23, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: College/University, High School, Income Related Issues, Youth

Rural Trust's Williams Joins Work on Dropout Prevention and Recovery

Doris Terry Williams, Executive Director of the Rural Trust, was recently appointed to the rural education technical working group on dropout prevention and recovery established by the U.S. Department of Education.
Date: February 23, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline, Graduation Rate/Dropout, High School, Income Related Issues, Why Rural Matters

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.

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.

Many Title I Schools Don't Get Comparable Share of State and Local Funding

A recent report from the U.S. Department of Education finds that many school districts spend less state and local funds per-pupil in their Title I and highest-poverty schools than in schools with lower rates of student poverty.
Date: December 30, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Education Policy, Income Related Issues, School Location, Title I

New Guidance for School Districts Seeking to Achieve Diversity, Avoid Racial Isolation

School districts have new federal guidance for voluntary approaches to achieving diversity and avoiding racial isolation in schools.
Date: December 30, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Education Policy, Income Related Issues

All Children are Equal Act (H.R. 2485) to be Considered by the House Education and the Workforce Committee

The ACE act to end discrimination against most high-poverty districts in Title I funding is at an important juncture. Congressional Representatives need to hear from their constituents that this bill is critical.
Date: November 29, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, What's New
Related Tags: Formula Fairness Campaign, Income Related Issues, Title I

Leonore Annenberg Winner Innovates with Technology

Owsley County Elementary School, a 2010 winner of the Leonore Annenberg School Fund Grant, uses iPods and iPads to support learning, expose students to cutting edge technology, and continue learning when school is cancelled for snow.
Date: November 29, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Elementary School, Income Related Issues, Technology

Alabama Judge Finds Rural Discrimination in School Funding But No Legal Basis to Rule for Plaintiffs

In a landmark case, a federal district court acknowledges the discriminatory nature of Alabama’s tax system on rural schools and their students, but finds no legal basis on which to sustain the plaintiffs’ challenge.
Date: November 29, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, School Finance/Funding

Studies Recommend Funding Changes in New Mexico

Two reports recently released in New Mexico recommend changing to the state finance system. But the reports present very different analyses of the problems and offer very different remedies.

Obama Administration to Lower Student Loan Payments for Millions of Borrowers

The Obama Administration is moving forward with a new "Pay As You Earn" proposal that will reduce monthly payments for more than one and a half million current college students and borrowers.
Date: October 25, 2011
Related Categories: Student, What's New
Related Tags: College/University, Federal Policy, Income Related Issues

Place-Based Learning Offers Opportunities for High-Poverty Rural Schools

Place-based learning is a way for schools struggling with poverty, isolation, or limited resources to expand opportunities for students, improve achievement, and strengthen the community, all at the same time.

Rural Winners of Lenore Annenberg School Fund Grant Delve Into Place-Based Learning

Teachers in two rural elementary schools recently participated in place-based learning workshops that will help engage their students in the local community.

School District Enrollment by Locale, 2009-10

A two-graph bonus of enrollment information about U.S. schools.
Date: September 28, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, Income Related Issues

Percentage of Rural Students Qualifying for Free or Reduced Meals

The percentage of rural students who qualify for free and reduced price lunches has increased steadily since 2007.
Date: August 25, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, Income Related Issues

Bill Would Require Districts to Spend “Comparably” In High-Poverty Schools

A new bill would amend the Title I law to require school districts to spend as much on the education of students in high-poverty schools as it does on students in low-poverty schools.

Promise Neighborhoods Grant Applications Due Sept. 6

Applications are available for phase two of the Promise Neighborhoods program. The program will again have Absolute Priorities for serving rural and tribal communities.

Rural Students Channel Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars to Their Communities

Students in North Carolina and Louisiana are making a big economic impact on their communities and learning a lot about money in the process.
Date: June 26, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Civic Engagement, High School, Income Related Issues, Youth

Reducing Exclusionary Discipline in Schools

A number of states and districts are beginning to reconsider zero tolerance policies and reliance on removing students from school for discipline violations.
Date: June 25, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: African-American students, Disabilities, Discipline, Income Related Issues

Leonore Annenberg School Fund Grants Awarded

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

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.
Date: May 29, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Education Policy, Income Related Issues, Title I

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 Rural Students Eligible for Free or Reduced Meals, 1992-2009

The percentage of students in rural schools who are eligible for free or reduced lunch has been rising steadily for a decade.
Date: March 30, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, Income Related Issues, Poverty

Advanced Placement Incentive Program Grant

The U.S. Department of Education invites applications for the Advanced Placement Incentive program. Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply is April 15, 2011.

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

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

Characteristic Eight: An Accurate Match of Resources to Needs. Making sure that students who have out-of-the-ordinary educational needs or characteristics get the support they need is a critical part of a strong school finance system.
Date: February 24, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, School Finance/Funding, Title I

Mississippi Communities Pushing Hard to Protect School Funding

Efforts of public education supporters to protect school funding are showing signs of success.

Homelessness is a Rural Problem Too

Homelessness may look different in rural places, but rural communities are not immune to the problem. This week marks the window in which states must conduct a semi-annual point-in-time count of homeless individuals. Oftentimes schools may not recognize when a student is homeless, but the school has legal responsibilities to provide specific services.
Date: January 25, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, School Location, Youth

North Carolina Weighing Options

North Carolina facing severe education funding cuts and increases in student homelessness.

New Publication on EITC

The Foundation for the Mid South just released Earned Income Tax Credit: Working Hands Getting a Hand Up to share information on this valuable anti-poverty tool helping working, low-income people keep more of their earnings.
Date: January 13, 2011
Related Categories: Community Advocate, Networks/Groups, Parent, Resource Center, What's New
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, Poverty

It Is Time for Something More Meaningful Than No "Excuses"

It’s time to address the real challenges that undermine the educational opportunities of many of our nation’s children

Date: December 21, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Education Policy, Federal Policy, Income Related Issues, Title I

Worth Noting

A new report seeks to understand the relationship between the attachment of local residents to their community and economic development in that community

Date: December 21, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Arts & Cultural Heritage, Community Development, Income Related Issues

Child Poverty Highest Among Rural African-Americans and Rural Single Mothers

A brief from the Carsey Institute finds that poverty rates for young children are significantly higher in rural areas than in central cities and that rural black children face poverty rates approaching 50%.
Date: October 27, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: African-American students, Income Related Issues, School Location

Rural Trust's Doris Williams Authors National Report on Community Schools

A new report by Rural Trust Executive Director, Doris Williams, addresses the potential of “community schools” to respond to persistent challenges in low-wealth rural schools and communities.

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.

Community Center Seeks to Re-Knit Divided Community

A small community pressured by economic hardship, a monolithic corporate presence, disaster, and international energy demands tries to find ways for local residents to reconnect to their own cultural inheritance and to each other.

Title I: Contact Your Representative — And Your Candidates

The mid-term elections are an important time to tell both incumbents and challengers that Title I funding needs to be fixed....

Class Action California Lawsuit Challenges School Fees

A class action lawsuit challenges whether school districts can charge students a variety of fees for basic school services....

Coalition Releases Document Calling for "Opportunity to Learn" for all Students

A coalition of civil rights organizations has issued a compelling document outlining new federal strategies to ensure that all students have substantive and fair opportunities to learn. The document’s critique of competitive mechanisms for distributing federal funding and use of unproven school turnaround strategies that harm students and communities is powerful. Equally important are the strategies it outlines to strengthen communities, engage parents in schools in meaningful way, and make states accountable for providing equitable resources and opportunities for all students. Such strategies would take federal policy in new directions to address the challenges and gross inequities facing low-income students and communities…

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

Formula Grant Successful in Rural Schools, Flexibility Key

A recent report for the U.S. Department of Education finds that low-income rural schools made good use of a federal formula grant. The findings are important in the debate over whether federal grants should be awarded primarily on a competitive or formula basis.

Second California Lawsuit

Second funding lawsuit filed in California brings increased pressure to fix the system.

Indiana Says No More Bus Fees

Indiana Attorney General Says No to Bus Fees.

The RPM-PX Take on a Report Exploring Practices in Successful "Turnaround" Schools

There is no single solution to improving persistently low-performing schools; instead improvement takes a variety of supports and strategies and will work differently in the unique circumstances of individual schools.

No Small Matter: Kagan, Stevens, Marshall and a Rural Child Named Kadrmas

President Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court has brought to light an important disagreement she had with Justice Thurgood Marshall, the great civil rights icon for whom she clerked. It happens that the disagreement involved the educational rights of a poor rural student...
Date: May 27, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Education Policy and Activism, Income Related Issues, School Location

High-Poverty, Low Graduation Rates in the Rural South

A new study by the Rural Trust finds that high-poverty levels correlates with low graduation rates in the rural South and that these districts are more racially diverse than other districts.

The Rural Dropout Problem: An Invisible Achievement Gap

This report reviews high school dropout rates and related factors in rural high schools throughout 15 Southern and Southwestern states. These schools are in districts that are among the 800 rural districts with the highest student poverty rate nationally. Seventy-seven percent of the "Rural 800" districts and 87 percent of the students in them are in these fifteen targeted states.

Two Analyses of Mississippi Achievement Data Produce Significant Findings for Policymakers

Two recent Rural Trust analyses, conducted in partnership with Southern Echo, find that the negative effects of poverty on student test scores is reduced in small school districts and that districts ranked highly in the state’s accountability system are no better at closing achievement gaps that lower rated districts…
Date: April 30, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Achievement Gap, African-American students, Disabilities, Income Related Issues

Facts and Figures About Which States Have the Most Rural Students Qualifying for Reduced-Price School Meals

Question: In which nine states do more than 50% of rural students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals?
Date: April 29, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, Income Related Issues, Poverty

Rural School Districts Eligible for Federal i3 Grant Application Assistance

Through a new $1.4 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Rural School and Community Trust will address provide customized technical assistance for rural school districts seeking i3 grants.
     For more information regarding technical assistance support through the Kellogg grant, please complete this short questionnaire (MSWord document) and return it via email.

Mississippi Department of Education, Percent Student Poverty Rate (2006) and School District Accountability Status (2009-2010)

Student achievement is highly correlated with poverty, and poorer school districts are more likely to be sanctioned in state accountability systems. This map illustrates this pattern in the state of Mississippi…
Date: March 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, Income Related Issues, Poverty

A Rural Trust Guide to Title I Formulas

The federal Title I program, which is intended to help schools address the educational challenges of the most disadvantaged students, provides more funding for some low-income students than for others. This guide explains what Title I does, how its formulas work, and why the program matters for rural districts and students — all in plain language.
Date: February 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, School/District Size, Title I

National Reports Spotlight Title I Formula Inequities

The fact that Title I provides more federal money for some low-income students than for others is coming under increasing scrutiny. Two recent reports spotlight the problem…

Date: February 25, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, School/District Size, Title I

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarships

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program supports hundreds of high-achieving students with financial need across the United States...

Rural Education Featured in Work of Civil Rights Award Winner

The creator of documentary film about rural education in South Carolina wins civil rights award…
Date: January 28, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, School Finance/Funding, State Policy

Harsh School Discipline Practices Challenged

Zero tolerance and other severe discipline practices are being challenges in courts and legislatures…
Date: January 28, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Disabilities, Discipline, Income Related Issues

Helping Students Prepare for College

Increasing college-going rates, especially among low-income and first-generation students, is widely cited as necessary for improving life prospects of young people and building the nation’s economic future. A September report from the Institute of Education Sciences reviews the research and makes recommendations on how schools can help more students prepare for and enter college. We summarize those recommendations and note adaptations needed for rural schools, especially those that are isolated and/or high-poverty….

Why Rural Matters 2009: An Interview with Co-Author and Researcher Jerry Johnson

RPM interviews Why Rural Matters (WRM) co-author Jerry Johnson about his personal perspectives on the findings in this important report.
Date: December 08, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, What's New
Related Tags: All States, Income Related Issues, Title I, Why Rural Matters

Formula Fairness Campaign

The Rural Trust announces a new campaign to bring fairness in the Title I funding formula for smaller higher poverty school districts…
Date: November 30, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, Rural 800/900, Title I

From the "Believe It Or Not" Basket:
The Cost of Being Small and Poor, the Charm of Being Big and Rich

Poor rural schools continue to lose Title I money to larger richer districts…
Date: November 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues, No Child Left Behind, Rural 800/900, Title I

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.

The Achievement Gap: Further Exploration of Factors That Undermine Achievement

RPM-PX continues its exploration of the achievement gap and how barriers to learning affect different groups of students…

Understanding and Addressing the Achievement Gap

A number of factors explain the devastating gap in achievement between middle and upper income white students and students from historically disadvantaged backgrounds. In this report we look at one of several recent reports that examines the gap and what can be done about it…

Groups Address School Pushout Crisis

As community groups and child advocates respond to increasing incidents of severe and excessive school discipline and rising rates of students being pushed out of school, it’s becoming clearer what kinds of approaches can help…

Getting Real About Rural Schools

Misconceptions about rural schools abound and they hurt students and communities, especially in the toughest places. In this essay we explore some of the realities of rural education and some of the things that would actually make a positive difference…

Missouri Arguments Heard

Rural Missouri districts appeal school funding lawsuit decision…

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.

South Carolina Changes Rules to Accommodate Shortfall

Facing severe cuts to education spending, South Carolina changes spending and employment guidelines for districts…

Wisconsin Network Proposes New Funding Plan

Wisconsin group proposes comprehensive new funding plan for schools...

Poorer Smaller Districts Lose Out in Stimulus

The federal stimulus package provides needed relief to many schools, but it replicates serious inequities for smaller districts with high poverty rates…

Facts and Figures About School Lunches in Poor Rural School Districts

What percent of students who attend school in the 800 poorest rural school districts qualify for free or reduced priced lunches?

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.

Help Shape the National Rural Education Policy Agenda

Lend your perspective on important policy issues affecting rural schools, students, and communities…

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.

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...

Facts and Figures About Rural Families and Poverty

What percentage of rural families live in poverty?
Date: November 06, 2008
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, Income Related Issues

Missouri's Ozarks Schools Suffer Funding Disparity

Rural schools in the mountains of Missouri have less money per student than other schools in the state...

Student Loan Forgiveness Options for Teachers and Schools

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

Rural Child Poverty Rates Often Higher than Urban

Poverty rates higher in rural areas...
Date: October 10, 2008
Related Categories: Elected Official/Staff, Public Policy Matters
Related Tags: Income Related Issues

Wyoming Attracts Montana Teachers

Montana is losing teachers to Wyoming...

Homelessness in Rural Oregon

Homelessness rising faster in rural communities than cities...

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...

Review: Meeting the Challenge of Rural Pre-K

If your district is one of the many rural districts attempting to implement a preschool program, you are probably familiar with some of the challenges.

State Education Cuts Fall Harder on Rural Districts: A Kentucky Example

Across the country many lower-wealth rural schools are absorbing a disproportionate share of state funding cuts and feeling the downside of a commonly-used state funding mechanism intended to help them.

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...

New Mexico Devises Strong Funding Formula: An Analysis

A proposed school funding formula in New Mexico sends state funding where it is needed most...

New Mexico Devises Strong Funding Formula: An Analysis

A New Mexico school funding formula that was produced by a legislatively funded study committee and its consultants would increase overall state aid to schools by over 15% and, according to a new Rural School and Community Trust analysis, send the biggest increases to smaller districts serving the poorest, most rural, communities, those with large percentages of Hispanic and Native American students, and those with high proportions of English Language Learners...

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...

Louisiana Youth Founder of Free Community Tax Center

At just 15 years of age and while still attending high school, Jolanda Burton opened and began operating the first free tax center in her community of St. Helena, Louisiana.

Review: "Additional Learning Opportunities in Rural Communities: Needs, Successes, and Challenges"

Roy Forbes' report, “Additional Learning Opportunities in Rural Communities: Needs, Successes, and Challenges,” adds another important voice to the call for equitable resources for rural schools and their students, especially their low-income students...

State Test Scores in Kentucky Reflect Socio-Economic Status

An analysis of district level scores on Kentucky's state standardized tests produces results different from a straight ranking, and offers important insight for how low-wealth rural districts can improve...

State Updates: South Dakota

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

Rural Policy Matters: February 2008

Rural Policy Matters: February 2008In the February 2008 Rural Policy Matters, Rural Trust President Rachel Tompkins writes about the complexity of rural education in "Rural Schools: Growing, Diverse, and... Complicated." This piece first appeared as a "back page" editorial in the national publication, Education Week, on January 16, 2008. Also, a critical analysis of nationally significant school funding issues in Georgia is the focus of "School Funding in Turmoil in Georgia," where radical proposals in the legislature could cripple school funding and citizen participation in education policymaking.

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.

Students of Color Comprise Majority in High Poverty Rural Districts

The 800 rural districts with the highest poverty rates (what we call the “Rural 800”) serve a population made up primarily of students of color. The districts, scattered across 38 states, serve nearly a million students...

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.

Poorest Rural Districts Poorer Than Most Cities

The 800 poorest rural districts in the U.S. enroll nearly a million students and have poverty rates higher than most cities....

Title I Weighted Grants Skewed Toward Largest Districts: Per Pupil Funding Varies Sharply by District Size

Title I Weighted GrantsSince 2002, some of the federal funds provided to local school districts under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act have been distributed through weighted grant formulas intended to better target funding to districts with the highest concentrations of poverty. While a worthy goal, these formulas actually skew funds toward larger districts and place a greater value on the education of a Title I student in a large district than on the education of a Title I student in a smaller district — even when these districts have the same poverty rate.

New Mexico Provides Support to Rural Schools to Engage in Community Revitalization

The New Mexico Department of Education wants to improve rural education in the state by funding schools to engage their students and teachers in direct efforts to revitalize and improve the economically distressed communities the schools serve...

Rural High Schools in the Southeast Are Larger and Have Higher Poverty Rates Than in Other States

How do rural high poverty rates and school sizes in southeastern states compare with the rest of the nation?
Date: April 01, 2006
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Graphs, Income Related Issues

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.

Making Bricks Without Straw: An Analysis of Achievement Patterns and Fiscal Inequity an Inadequacy in Nebraska School System

Making Bricks without StrawNebraska school systems with the lowest test scores serve more students who face socio-economic barriers to academic achievement than do other Nebraska schools, but have to do it with less money, according to this analysis.

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.

They Remember What They Touch: The Impact of Place-Based Learning in East Feliciana Parish

They Remember What They TouchContrary to its Spanish name, East Feliciana has never been a "happy land" for public education. Located in southeastern Louisiana, East Feliciana Parish School District was carved out as a result of consolidations, closures, mergers and chronic poor school performance. The district serves approximately 3,000 students, 2,400 of them in grades K-8. In a parish where African-Americans comprise only 47.1% of the population, they represent more than 80% of the public school students; most, 84.8%, qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.

Small Works in Nebraska: How Poverty and the Size of School Systems Affect School Performance in Nebraska

Small Works in NebraskaAs Nebraska considers a proposal to consolidate many of its small rural schools, this study finds compelling evidence that academic achievement is higher in the state's smaller schools—particularly for students who live in poorer communities. The study by Jerry Johnson, policy analyst for the Rural Trust, explores the relationships among school size, poverty, and student achievement in Nebraska and finds that smaller schools significantly reduce the power of poverty to affect student academic performance.

Small Works in Arkansas: How Poverty and the Size of Schools and School Districts Affect School Performance in Arkansas

Small_Works_In_Arkan.pdfA series of studies in seven states (Alaska, California, Georgia, Montana, Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia) indicates that smaller schools reduce the harmful effects of poverty on student achievement and help students from less affluent communities narrow the academic achievement gap between them and students from wealthier communities. The implication is that the less affluent a community, the smaller the school and school district serving that community should be in order to maximize student achievement. The present study conducted by Ohio University researchers extends this analysis to Arkansas. The findings are remarkably consistent with those from the other states.

Still "A Reasonably Equal Share": Update on Educational Equity in Vermont

This report updates the 2001 study on the impact of Vermont's Equal Educational Opportunity Act of 1997 (Act 60) using the latest available data to examine the degree to which Act 60 has improved on the three main equity goals established by the state's Supreme Court and Legislature: Student Resource Equity, Tax Burden Equity and Academic Achievement Equity. The report concludes that Act 60 continues to fulfill these mandates.

How to Analyze Your State's Education Finance System

This workbook walks you through the complex maze of information gathering and analysis needed to begin to make sense of finance systems. We recommend using the guide online to make it easier to access various sources of information.

A Reasonably Equal Share: Educational Equity in Vermont

This report finds that Vermont's Equal Educational Opportunity Act of 1997 (Act 60) has significantly improved educational equity in the state and has achieved three main goals established by the state's Supreme Court and the Legislature: student resource equity, tax burden equity, and academic achievement equity. The findings suggest that Vermont is on the right course in the way it funds its schools.