Our Goals

  • High quality place-based education, widely practiced in rural schools and communities
  • Effective, permanent organizations of rural people, active in every state, participating in state and local policy development and ensuring high-quality rural education.
  • A national agenda where rural people and their issues are visible and credible.

The Board of Trustees of the Rural School and Community Trust has identified seven overall strategies for accomplishing the Rural Trust's goals.

1. Expand Place-based Education.

We are committed to expanding place-based education across rural America. Place-based education enlarges student learning and improves community life by better connecting rural schools and communities and by engaging students in community-based public work.

2. Improve Teachers and School Leaders in Rural Places.

The Rural Trust is committed to increasing the numbers and improving the quality of teachers and school leaders in rural places, and to creating a policy environment favorable to meeting these goals.

3. Improve Research and Analysis on Rural Education.

One of the Rural Trust's key goals is to improve the quality and increase the quantity of rural education research. Lack of research on issues critical to rural education limits the ability of rural people to be effective advocates for their schools.

4. Enhance Rural Community Organizing and Develop Rural Leaders.

The goal of community organizing and school and community leadership is integrated throughout the Rural Trust's work. We partner with a national network of community groups working at the state level to improve policy for rural schools, and emphasize training school leaders who understand the methods and values of well-connected schools and communities and of place-based learning as a means to accomplish these connections.

5. Ensure Appropriate Policy for Rural Schools.

Our Rural Education Finance Center seeks to improve the school finance systems in leading rural states, to increase the capacity of rural education organizations to sustain effective school finance reform efforts, and to increase awareness and understanding of rural education policy issues among the general public. The Rural Trust is the national leader in developing knowledge and understanding of the impact of state school finance policies on rural schools.

6. Engage Rural Young People in Community Building and Civic Action.

Our goal is to engage young people as partners in the work of the Rural Trust, participating alongside adults in research and action designed to improve their schools and communities.

7. Build Visibility and Credibility for Rural Places and Their Schools.

At the national level and in targeted states, we cultivate the media to help inform the public about the importance of rural communities and schools.