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Edgecombe County, NC: Bringing Educators and Leaders Together to Discuss Community Impact

In Edgecombe County, North Carolina, the Blue Ribbon Commission on Educational Equity, had its first town hall-style meeting in February. The Commission is comprised of educators, local board of education members, faith-based leaders, parents, students, and policymakers.


Teachers and Literacy Coordinators Collaborate to Improve Early Literacy in Rural Communities

More than twenty-five schools across the U.S. are collaborating to implement a multi-layered, rural-specific approach to improving early literacy, especially for children at risk in high-poverty, rural communities.


U.S. Department of Education Reminds Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) Grantees of Eligibility Requirements

The purpose of the Small, Rural School Achievement grant program is to provide financial assistance to rural districts to assist them in meeting their state's definition of adequate yearly progress (AYP). Applicants do not compete but rather are entitled to funds if they meet basic eligibility requirements.


Coalition for Teaching Quality Represents 100+ Local, State and National Groups

The Coalition for Teaching Quality (CTQ) represents a broad cross-section of over 100 local, state, and national organizations representing civil rights, disability, parent, student, community, and education groups. The Rural School and Community Trust has been a member since the coalition’s founding in 2010.


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.


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.


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.


Community Schools 2016 National Forum Scheduled for April 6 - 8 in Albuquerque

Rural educators and stakeholders are encouraged to attend the Community Schools 2016 National Forum.


Application Deadline for 2016 Global Teacher Fellowship Program Extended to February 12

The Rural Trust is pleased to announce that applications for the 2016 Global Teacher Fellowship Program are now open!  The application deadline has been extended to February 12, 2016.


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.


Student Literacy Blossoms at Rural Schools' Summer Learning Labs

Literacy learning labs, held this summer in 21 rural schools in five states, gave students a safe space to read and write and gave teachers a chance to collaborate and try new strategies.


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.


Rural Community Schools Are Invited to Submit Their School's Data into CCS Directory

The Coalition for Community Schools invites rural community schools to participate in the annual Community Schools Directory. The purpose of this directory is to ascertain the number, location, and scope of community schools in the United States. By participating, rural school administrators can let their voices be heard and connect with others who are facing similar challenges.


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 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.


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.


Register Now for April 8 Webinar: Closing the Achievement Gap in Rural Districts: Lessons from Research and the Field

Hosted by the Regional Education Laboratory (REL) Central at Marzano Research, this April 8 webinar will provide participants with research and information about the instructional and organizational practices of rural districts that have closed the achievement gap.


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.


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.


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.


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.


U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Agricultural Scientist Fellowships: Applications due February 11, 2015

On December 22, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the availability of more than $15 million for fellowships to train and develop the next generation of scientists who will lead agriculture into the future by solving current and future challenges facing society.


Students Injured in Shooting Outside School

Shooting injures four students outside a Portland, Oregon school.


Charter Schools Facing Legal Challenges

A recent court ruling in Arizona found that the state’s charter schools are not entitled to the same level of funding as regular schools, and a complaint has been filed in with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights claiming that most of Delaware’s charters are racially identifiable and that common enrollment practices violate several provisions of federal law.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.


Why Rural Matters 2013-14 Released

The Rural Trust releases Why Rural Matters 2013–14.


Students Lead Poverty Reduction

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


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.


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.


Rural Trust Announces the 2014 Rural Leonore Annenberg School Fund Grantees

The Rural School and Community Trust is pleased to announce that Greenville Elementary School in Greenville, Florida and Stewart Street Elementary in Quincy, Florida will receive grants through the Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children.


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.


Focusing on Wellness Connects Students to Their Communities

A south Georgia elementary school commits to helping kids get and stay fit and healthy—and connected to each other and their diverse community.


School Funding Unconstitutional in Kansas

The Kansas Supreme Court has found the state is failing to meet its constitutional requirement to provide equitable funding for school districts.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Administration Announces "Made in Rural America" Export and Investment Initiative

On February 7, 2014, the President directed his Administration, working through the White House Rural Council, to lead a new "Made in Rural America" export and investment initiative.


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.


Colorado School Funding Defeat

Voters delivered a blow to education interests seeking support to address long-standing school finance issues and recent budget cuts.


Info Session for Rural AmeriCorps: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont

Information for rural schools in Maine, New Hampshire, and northern Vermont interested in applying for AmeriCorps volunteers.
Date: November 20, 2013
Related Categories: In Local News, Networks/Groups, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Announcements


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.


2013 Global Teacher Fellows Share Experiences

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


Tragedies Reflect Patterns in School Violence

Deadly violence in U.S. schools tends to occur in mass shootings or in events that target a specific individual. Both types of violence claimed the lives of beloved teachers this month.


Register Now for PISA Day, Dec. 3, 2013, Live Digital Event

You are invited to participate in PISA Day 2013: Learning Beyond the Rankings. This national digital event, streamed live at PISADay.org, will examine the results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and their implications for U.S. education policy.


USDA Farm to School Census Results Released

The US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Nationwide Census on Farm to School Activities shows promising results. The census indicates that there were over 38,000 schools with 21 million students serving over $350 million in local food in the 2011-2012 school year.


Rural Trust Participates in Pathways to Partnership Bus Tour Across California

Between October 14 and 16, the Rural Trust participated in Pathways to Partnership: Community Schools Strategies in Action, a three-day, statewide bus tour which explored how the community schools strategy is being implemented in California.


North Carolina Launches Dramatic Changes in Education

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


Foundation for Rural Services Grant Proposals Due Oct. 1, 2013

The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS), in cooperation with the NTCA, The Rural Broadband Association, seeks to sustain and enhance the quality of life throughout rural America by advancing an understanding of rural telecommunications issues.


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.


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.


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.


Aeronautics in the Future for 2013 Rural Leonore Annenberg Scholarship Winner

A high school junior interested in rocketry and engineering has been selected for a significant national scholarship.


2013 Rural Recipients of Grants from the Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children

Two rural elementary schools have been awarded funds from the Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children.


Colorado Youth Win Agreement to Stem the School to Prison Pipeline

A youth-led coalition has won another victory in the process of improving policies in order to keep students out of the criminal justice system.


North Carolina State Board Takes Stand Against Corporal Punishment

As its use dies out, the state board officially discourages the use of corporal punishment.


Texas Districts Prevail in Ruling; Appeal Will Follow

The school funding trial in the Lone Star State has ended, but legislative response and plans for an appeal to the state supreme court are underway.


Formula Fight in Ohio: Big Questions about New Directions

Governor John Kasich released his budget proposal earlier this year, but legislators and education stakeholders have not embraced it in the face of questions about equity, privatizing initiatives, and actual impact on schools.


Colorado School Finance Action in Court and Legislature

The Colorado Supreme Court heard oral arguments and ruled on the constitutionality of the state’s school finance system in advance of the Legislature undertaking reforms to that system.


Washington Legislature Works to Address Court Order

As this year’s session ends, lawmakers approve increases for education, but it is still unclear whether voters must approve tax hikes.


School Fees at Issue in Idaho and California

An Idaho grandfather’s efforts to stop school districts from charging student fees has met with procedural hurdles; California will clarify when fees can be charged.


Louisiana Voucher Funding Unconstitutional

The Louisiana Supreme Court says voucher law diverts money exclusively designated for public schools.


Alabama Voucher Law Passes Amid Major Controversy

Alabama’s new voucher law may still face legal hurdles, despite overcoming one lawsuit before being signed by Governor Robert Bentley.


States Continue Charter School Debates

A number of states continue to struggle with policy decisions related to charter schools, particularly virtual charters.


Student Leadership on Historic Clock Is Community Catalyst

Student engagement around a historic local clock is becoming a key part of a local community renaissance in Glouster, Ohio.


Louisiana Voucher Law Still in Courts

Governor Bobby Jindal’s voucher law prevents districts from complying with federal desegregation orders and violates the state constitution, according to recent judgments. But those rulings are on appeal
Date: April 12, 2013
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Kansas Court Rules State Violating Constitution in Education Funding Case

The three-judge panel’s decision has been met with a flurry of activity by legislators who oppose increasing funding to schools.
Date: April 12, 2013
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Arizona Court Says Annual Inflationary Increase for Schools Are Not Optional

Funding increases for schools will resume after an Arizona court says the legislature cannot pick and choose which elements to support.


Arkansas Court Decision Jeopardizes Lake View Funding Reforms

A decision by the Arkansas Supreme Court could open the door to actions that reduce education finance adequacy and equity in the state.


New Location for Rural Trust's National Office

The Rural Trust's National Office has relocated to Washington, DC. Please note our new address and phone numbers.
Date: April 01, 2013
Related Categories: Resource Center
Related Tags: Rural Trust Publication


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.


Texas Legislators Grapple with Fixing the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Senate committees in Texas heard testimony in a day-long hearing on high rates, discriminatory trends of school discipline in the state.


Kentucky Court Considers Miranda Warnings

Kentucky’s Supreme Court will determine whether students should receive Miranda warnings when questioned by law enforcement in school settings.
Date: November 27, 2012
Related Categories: Administrator, In Local News, Networks/Groups, Parent, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline


Ohio School Levies Meet Mixed Success; School Funding Fight Likely

Voters in the Buckeye State approved many local district requests for funding, but calls are growing louder for a school finance system overall. 


Georgia Charter Law Faces Legal Fight

Voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative that would expand charter operations in Georgia. But some opponents are challenging it in court, arguing that the language of the initiative was misleading.


Georgia District Must Clarify Use of Social Security Numbers, DOJ Says

The U.S. Department of Justice has entered into an agreement with Henry County, Georgia to end their practice of requiring Social Security Numbers for students.


Arizona School Using Culture and Innovative Math Project to Boost Student Success

As part of RPM's spotlight on rural education innovations, we feature STAR School in Arizona, where achievement in soaring, thanks to the school's emphasis on cultural appropriateness and its unique early childhood math program.


Alabama State Department of Education Sued Over Student Records

Advocacy organization says harsh immigration law forced students to flee schools for fear of deportation.


Kentucky School Board Approves Limits on Use of Seclusion and Restraint

The Kentucky State School Board has approved a policy that restricts the use of seclusion and restraints unless there is immediate risk of harm.
Date: October 29, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Disabilities, Discipline


Meridian Mississippi Officials Sued by Department of Justice for Operating "School to Prison Pipeline"

After an extensive investigation revealing a number of illegal practices, DOJ has brought suit against several agencies to force reform.
Date: October 29, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Disabilities, Discipline


Plaintiffs and Allies in Colorado School Funding Case Ask High Court to Uphold Ruling

The Rural School and Community Trust was among the "friends of the court" who filed briefs urging the Colorado Supreme Court to uphold a December 2011 ruling that found the state's school finance formula unconstitutional. 
Date: October 29, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


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.


Massive School Funding Trial Begins in Texas

The combined cases involve six different sets of plaintiffs, representing three-quarters of the five million students in the Lone Star State.
Date: October 29, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Proposed Pennsylvania Legislation to Revise Charter School Funding Dies

Keystone state legislators struggle with reforming charter school regulations in the wake of lawsuits over funding.


Louisiana Judge Questions Whether Vouchers Impacting Desegregation Orders

The state superintendent of education must respond to allegations from a rural district that it cannot afford to comply with a new state voucher law and desegregation orders.


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.


Arizona Forced to Adopt Better Practices for Identifying English Language Learners

Arizona must provide instruction for English Language learners until students have tested proficient in all areas.
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: English Language Learners (ELL), Federal Programs


Heated Tennessee Charter Battles Point Up Issues

The rapid expansion of charter schools in Tennessee is raising issues relevant to other states as well.
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Charter Schools


South Carolina Rural Districts Hear Familiar Refrain in Court

The high-poverty rural districts at the heart of South Carolina's school funding lawsuit faced a volley of blame-the-victim questions in court. 
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Kansas Districts Make Final Arguments

Plaintiffs argue that rising costs and requirements and a 16% cut in funding are seriously compromising the quality of education. But the state claims cuts are “insignificant.”
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Florida Districts Will Have Their Day in Court

The Florida Supreme Court has found that a group of non-profit and parent plaintiffs who charge the state fails to properly fund schools can seek a trial.
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Remedy Phase in Washington State Finance Case Moves Forward

The Washington legislature is providing its first report to the Court on how it plans to fund schools in the state.
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Georgia Districts Nearing Insolvency, But Funding Commission Recommends Only Minor Changes

Despite major finance problems in many districts, a state commission charged with making suggestions for funding in Georgia's public schools recommends only minor changes to the formula. 
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Chester-Upland District in "Recovery Status"

The state of Pennsylvania has settled two federal lawsuits with the small cash-strapped Chester-Upland school district. 
Date: September 26, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Charter Schools, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Alabama Schools Not Allowed to Check Immigration Status

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an Alabama law requiring schools to check the immigration status of newly enrolling students and their parents violates equal protection guarantees.
Date: August 28, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Immigration, Minority Students


DOJ Investigation Finds Mississippi County Court, Police Department and Youth Services Operating School-to-Prison Pipeline

The U.S. Department of Justice has accused agencies in Lauderdale County and Meridian City, Mississippi of violating the constitutional rights of children by arresting and incarcerating them, without due process, often for minor school infractions.
Date: August 28, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: African-American students, Disabilities, Discipline


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


Proposed Georgia Constitutional Amendment on Charters Highlights Debate Over Funding

A constitutional amendment on the November ballot would allow a politically appointed commission to authorize charter schools over the objections of local boards and the state. 
Date: August 28, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Charter Schools, Rural School Funding News


Missouri Plan Prorates Funding Shortfall Among Districts

A State Department plan stabilizes funding in Missouri, but leaves the poorest districts without the funding increases they were due.
Date: July 27, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


New York Funding Lawsuit Moves Forward

Plaintiffs may continue with a lawsuit that charges the state’s school funding formula is inequitable. 
Date: July 27, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Six Finance Lawsuits in Texas

Two lawsuits brought by charter school organizations bring the number of school finance lawsuits in the state to six.
Date: July 27, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Pennsylvania Lawsuit Raises New Issues

A school finance lawsuit filed in federal court raises questions about special education and charter schools as well as adequacy of state funding.
Date: July 27, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


North Carolina, Others, Hotly Debate Charter School Rules

North Carolina is just one of the states embroiled in fierce debate, legislative activity, and court involvement over the role of charter schools in the future of public education.


Travel Inspiration from Global Fellow

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


White House Rural Council Announces Rural Online Community

The U.S. Department of Education announced a new initiative of the White House Rural Council: online community of practice group for rural schools.
Date: June 26, 2012
Related Categories: Collaborations, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Education Policy


Michigan State Board of Education Advises Districts to Revisit Zero-Tolerance Policies

Policymakers in Michigan have passed a resolution advising districts to address the alarming rates of suspensions and expulsions that have resulted from zero tolerance policies.
Date: June 26, 2012
Related Categories: Administrator, Elected Official/Staff, In Local News, Policy Maker, Rural Policy Matters, Student
Related Tags: Discipline


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.


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.


"Moving to Higher Ground" Event Highlights Successes for Rural Schools and Students

The 2012 Vermont Rural Partnership’s annual place-based learning event for members of its network spotlighted youth-led and intergenerational projects that have transformed schools and communities.


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.


South Carolina Supreme Court Moves on School Funding Case

After almost four years of silence, the Palmetto State’s highest court has ordered attorneys to re-argue the case.
Date: May 30, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Iowa Supreme Court Refuses to Reinstate School Standards Case

The Iowa Supreme Court has refused to require the state to adopt specific content standards for schools, but leaves door open for future constitutional challenges.
Date: May 30, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Colorado Students Win State Law Reforms of Student Discipline Code

After a two-year effort, student, parent, and community advocates have won major reforms to state laws on school discipline.


Nonprofit Petitions U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Zero Tolerance Case

A civil liberties organization has asked the nation’s highest court to consider the case of a 14-year-old expelled for a plastic pen shooter.


Community Initiative Supporting Rural Arts Education in the Ozarks

Placeworks, a place-based community initiative, is helping to fill the need for art education in rural schools across the Ozarks region of Missouri.


Gainesville Schools and Community Benefit from Foundation Investment

The Mission-Related Investment Program of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks has made it possible for Gainesville School District to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy costs.


Missouri Formula Fight Likely to Produce Mostly Losers, Few Winners

A Missouri statehouse battle over how to deal with a combination of factors negatively impacting school funding has rural districts pitted against suburban and urban schools, and neither side is likely to win.


Hold-Harmless Clause Spurs Pennsylvania Legislators' Planned School Finance Lawsuit

Three Pennsylvania State Representatives have announced that they plan to file a lawsuit claiming the current school funding formula violates the state Constitution's equal protection clause but are targeting a rural-friendly provision in doing so.


Ohio Still Seeking Stable, Constitutional Funding Formula

In the fifteen years since the first Ohio State Supreme Court ruling finding the school finance system unconstitutional, there have been at least three attempts to come up with a new formula, and a fourth is set to begin soon.


Montana Rural District Coalition Secures Additional Funding for Schools

The State of Montana has agreed to increase school funding for FY13 by a full inflationary adjustment after being sued for not complying with a law requiring it to do so.


Arkansas Rural Advocates Protect Transportation Funding for Districts

Arkansas’ Rural Community Alliance averts a transportation funding loss of over $100K that would have impacted some of the state’s smallest districts.


RCA and Allies Explore New Ways to Build Support for Their Work

Arkansas’ Rural Community Alliance convenes training on foundation-building in Alpena.
Date: March 30, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Civic Engagement, Community Organizing, Consolidation


Rural Advocates Attend Strategy Workshop to Combat Harsh School Discipline

North Carolina and South Carolina rural education working groups connect with others in the region who are working to dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline.
Date: March 30, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline, Education Policy and Activism, Youth


School Discipline Reform Underway in Colorado

Student-led efforts have culminated in legislation that would reduce suspensions and expulsions in Colorado.
Date: March 30, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Community Organizing, Discipline, Education Policy and Activism, Youth


Idaho School Districts Will Absorb Declining Enrollment Cost

A bill to protect schools from year to year funding swings has passed in Idaho, but local districts are footing the bill.
Date: March 30, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Budget and Policy Debate in Alaska Influenced by Finance Litigation

Alaska legislators argue over how to support schools but all are conscious of what the court has ordered.
Date: March 30, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Trial Date in Kansas School Funding Suit Looms Large

School districts suing the State of Kansas will return to court this June, and both the governor and the legislature are taking steps to try to mitigate the eventual effect of the lawsuit.
Date: March 30, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Voices of Spoon River: The Ellisville Opera House

Voices of Spoon River is a collaborative effort that celebrates the sense of place in small, rural communities located in western Illinois’ Spoon River Valley.


Finding Ways to Keep Students in School

Some states and districts are seeking the right combination of policy changes that will reduce dropout rates.
Date: February 23, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline, Education Policy and Activism


ACE Act Will Be Considered for Adoption February 28, 2012

The House Education and Workforce Committee will be considering adoption of the ACE Act on February 28...
Date: February 23, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Education Policy, Formula Fairness Campaign, Title I


Consolidation and Charter Policies Make Conflicting Claims

A new wave of legislation advocating the creation of charter schools uses arguments that run counter to those often used to close small schools and districts. Both policies raise complicated questions of equity and opportunity.
Date: February 23, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, Federal Education Policy


California Bus Funds Restored, But Districts Must Cut Budgets Elsewhere

Rural school districts will be able to continue to provide transportation this year and next, but schools will still have to reduce their budgets immediately; a lawsuit contends that schools are continuing to charge illegal fees to students to cover budget needs.
Date: February 23, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: K-12, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


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.


Washington High Court Rules Funding Is Inadequate

Olympic State school funding plaintiffs have won a major victory that confirms that the state’s responsibility to fund schools is not offset by fiscal crisis.
Date: February 23, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: K-12, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Alaska's Rural Districts Settle Lawsuit; Win Additional Funding

Rural and remote schools in the state will share $18 million for programming as the state continues to hone intervention activities mandated by the ruling in Moore v. Alaska.
Date: February 23, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: K-12, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Colorado Defendants Will Appeal Loboto Plaintiff Decision

Implementation of a new funding formula in Colorado will likely be delayed by appeals by that state’s governor and State Board of Education.
Date: February 23, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: K-12, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Rural Arkansans Bring National Attention to Post Office Closures

Arkansas’s Rural Community Alliance has helped communities across the state fight back against proposals to close their post offices. In the process, the organization has garnered national attention and brought a rural perspective to this important nationwide issue.
Date: January 27, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Community Development, Community Organizing


School Discipline Update: Maine Bill Would Prevent Expulsion Without Reentry Plan

Schools would not be allowed to expel students unless they have a plan to help students get back in school.
Date: January 27, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline


Vermont School Funding System Works

Vermont’s school funding system, which is unusual among states, provides funding levels that are equitable across districts and limits school property taxes to a percentage of household income.
Date: January 27, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Vermont's Most Unusual, Most Equitable School Funding System in a Nutshell

Vermont’s school funding system works to ensure strong educational opportunity for students across the state, no matter where they live. RPM explains how the system works.
Date: January 27, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


California's Frontal Assault on Rural Schools

Rural schools could bear the brunt of a proposal to end all funding for school transportation in California.
Date: January 27, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding, School Location


Desegregation/Funding Decision in Arkansas

A U.S. Circuit Court has reversed a lower court ruling ending state payments to support desegregation efforts in three Arkansas school system.


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.


Montana Cites Rural Nature in Rationale for Declining NCLB Waivers

Most states have indicated they plan to apply in February for waivers of many No Child Left Behind provisions, but Montana announced this month that it sees the waiver provisions as inappropriate to state conditions.
Date: December 30, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Education Policy, No Child Left Behind, School Location


Colorado Coalition Wins Major Victory in School Finance Suit

Schools in Colorado have won a school finance lawsuit, and the judge made important observations about the importance of sufficient funding, facilities and opportunity for student achievement.
Date: December 30, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facilities, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


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


Alabama Immigration Law Draws More Federal Scrutiny

The U.S. Department of Justice is asking for information from Alabama school districts about the enrollment of English Language Learners, and the state’s Attorney General is claiming the Department has no authority with regard to schools.
Date: November 29, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: English Language Learners (ELL)


Additional Texas Funding Lawsuits Filed

Not just one, but two lawsuits have been filed challenging the school funding system in Texas.
Date: November 29, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding, School Location


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.


Colorado Voters Reject Tax Increase for Schools

An effort in Colorado to raise taxes for schools has failed by a substantial margin.
Date: November 29, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Kansas Governor Making School Finance Reform Proposals

The Governor of Kansas is proposing a new school finance system, and many school supporters argue that lack of funding, and not the formula itself, is the real problem.
Date: November 29, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Judge Suspends Portions of Alabama Immigration Law Affecting K-12 Education

A federal court has temporarily blocked portions of Alabama’s new immigration law, including requirements that schools report the immigration status of all newly enrolling students and their parents.


School Discipline Update: Colorado Task Force Recommends End to Zero Tolerance; New Study Details Disparity in Discipline Rates Across Country

Colorado is looking to end zero tolerance policies and institute age-appropriate school disciplinary practices that help students learn positive behavior.
Date: October 27, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: African-American students, Discipline


Texas Faces New School Finance Litigation

A “hold harmless” provision in a remedy to a previous Texas lawsuit locked in higher school funding for high-wealth districts through a hold-harmless provision that directs higher rates of state funding to districts with high property values. That remedy is now under fire.
Date: October 27, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Alaska Rural Districts' Case Decided

After more than a decade, the Alaska legislature has implemented a funding formula that provides facilities funding for rural districts at levels equitable to urban districts.


New Finance Lawsuit in Montana

A lawsuit seeks funding that plaintiffs say was cut out of the state’s education budget.
Date: October 27, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Rural New Jersey Districts Head Back to Court

Rural districts in New Jersey are seeking recognition of their unique needs.
Date: October 27, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Alabama Teachers In Political and Legal Crosshairs

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


In The "Size Matters" Category...

Missouri votes to diminish accreditation status of two very small rural school districts based on student test scores.
Date: September 28, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: School/District Size


Key Portion of Alabama Immigration Law Upheld

Alabama schools will have to document and report the immigration status of their students...


School Discipline Update: Arkansas Considers Changes to Education Programs in Youth Lockups

Arkansas lawmakers contemplate giving authority for education in juvenile justice centers to local school districts.


South Dakota Lawsuit Ends

South Dakota’s Supreme Court has found that plaintiffs did not show the state’s school system was “clearly and unmistakably” unconstitutional.


Committee Releases Initial Proposals for School Funding in Georgia

A committee to recommend changes to Georgia’s 25-year old school finance system released its initial proposals this month.


Arizona Revisits Consolidation

Arizona legislators consider consolidation options for school districts.


States' Rights, Anti-Tax Officials Block Local Efforts for South Carolina Schools, Reject Federal Funding

As South Carolina schools face historic financial challenges, the Governor vetoes legislative initiatives to direct state budget surpluses to schools as well as local efforts to increase local funding, and the State Schools Superintendent rejects federal “Edujobs” funding, fails to address the under-funding of special education that results in a multi-million dollar federal penalty, and turns down RTTT application.
Date: August 25, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


North Carolina Wrangling Over 4-Year Kindergarten

Lawmakers are challenging a judge’s ruling that the decision of the North Carolina legislature to limit enrollment of at-risk children in the state’s four-year-old kindergarten program is unconstitutional.
Date: August 25, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Early Childhood, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Colorado Lawsuit Opens

After numerous setbacks, arguments in the Lobato school funding case are being heard this month.
Date: August 25, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Groundbreaking Texas Report Finds Harsh Discipline Is the Rule, Not the Exception

A study that tracked over a million Texas students found that almost 60% were expelled or suspended at least once in grades seven to twelve. Students with disabilities and African-American males received the highest rates of harsh punishment.
Date: July 29, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Disabilities, Discipline


Washington School Funding Arguments Heard by State High Court

The State of Washington contends it is fulfilling its educational duties despite funding cuts to schools of nearly $4 billion.
Date: July 29, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


North Carolina Budget Writers Cannot Impede State’s Constitutional Duty, Judge Says

A judge rules that places caps on the number of low-income children who can participate in a state-funding pre-K program is unconstitutional.
Date: July 29, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


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.


Maine Student Receives $250,000 Leonore Annenberg Scholarship Award

Kassandra Hopkins of Vinalhaven, Maine, is the recipient of a $250,000 Leonore Annenberg Scholarship to attend any undergraduate college or university in the country.
Date: July 28, 2011
Related Categories: Funding/Grants/Scholarships, In Local News, Student
Related Tags: Article


Every Child in Every Neighborhood

“Every Child in Every Neighborhood” is a video from the Oakland Unified School District that outlines their efforts to transform that school system into a full-service community school district.


Colorado TABOR Lawsuit Filed

A Colorado lawsuit raises questions about "direct" and "representational" democracy.
Date: June 25, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Indiana Legislature Starves Small Districts; Feeds Voucher Program

Extensive changes to education policy in Indiana will reduce public school funding, especially for smaller districts, and will divert millions into a private school voucher program.
Date: June 25, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


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.


Scope of Rural Tornado Destruction Under-Reported

Half of all people killed in this spring’s violent storms were killed in rural communities and small rural towns. Even prior to the Joplin strike, 2011 was one of the deadliest tornado years on record, with 363 confirmed deaths, three-quarters of them in rural communities and small towns. So far this year, at least twelve schools have been demolished, three in Joplin, three in Tuscaloosa, and six in rural communities from Oklahoma to Alabama. RPM catalogs the rural impact and suggests that expert claims that this year’s high death rate is largely attributable to urban strikes ignore the rural facts.
Date: May 31, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Article


Idaho's Declining Enrollment Safety Net Survives Another Year

In a year of massive educational policy changes in Idaho, the state’s safety net for schools with declining enrollments survives, barely.


Maine Funding Formula Under Scrutiny

Rural school districts in coastal Maine and other areas of the state where increases in property values have rapidly outpaced increases in income of full-time residents are seeking relief from aspects of the state’s school funding formula that result in lower state support for their schools.
Date: May 29, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


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.


Arkansas Increases School Funding and Addresses Transportation

In an arrangement with Governor Mike Beebe, the Arkansas legislature increased across-the-board funding for school, while Beebe set aside money for a special fund for districts with high transportation costs.


Arizona Taxpayers Barred from Challenging Tuition Tax Credit Program

The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed tax credits to be used for private religious schools in Arizona by denying taxpayers the right to challenge the program in Court.


Rhode Island Lawsuit Will Be Resumed

School districts that had agreed to put their school finance lawsuit on hold have filed an amended complaint after funding levels for schools failed to meet recommended levels.


Rural North Carolinians Address Important Education Policies

Punitive and unequal disciplinary policies and funding inequities are just two of the public policies that the North Carolina Rural Education Working Group addresses. This month the group held a conference to draw attention to the issues and to their work.


South Carolina Faces Multiple Budget Woes

South Carolina lost its chance to receive federal stimulus funding and is facing nearly a billion dollar shortfall in the state budget.
Date: March 30, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Kansas Lawmakers Propose Constitution Change

A legislative committee in Kansas has proposed giving the legislature sole control over the state’s school finance system.
Date: March 30, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


California Lawsuits Must Have Different Focus

A California judge has ruled that school funding lawsuits may move forward only if they change their focus.
Date: March 30, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


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.


Alabama Funding Discrimination Lawsuit Moves Forward

A lawsuit in Alabama claims that several provisions of the state’s constitution, particularly those related to limitations on rural property taxes, are rooted in historic efforts to deny educational opportunity to African Americans. 


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.


School Discipline: An Occasional Series on Developments in School Disciplinary Policies and Practices

Discipline cases in several states reveal thorny issues about students’ rights regarding search-and-seizure at school.
Date: February 24, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline


Alabama Schools Facing Lawsuit over Use of Pepper Spray

Students sue school over use of pepper spray by law enforcement officers.
Date: February 24, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: African-American students, Discipline


Arizona High Court Refuses to Hold Student Criminally Liable

The Arizona Supreme Court rules that a student should be punished by school discipline procedures rather than by criminal laws.
Date: February 24, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline


Gang Activity Policies Addressed by Courts

Many schools have used alleged gang activity as a reason for suspending or expelling students. But in many cases schools are not clear on what constitutes gang activity. Recently court decisions have found that schools must clarify their gang activity policies.
Date: February 24, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: African-American students, Community Organizing, Discipline


Mississippi Communities Pushing Hard to Protect School Funding

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


Changes to Arkansas Consolidation Law Proposed

Schools on an Arkansas “watch list” may get more time to resolve difficulties before facing mandated consolidation.
Date: February 24, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Iowa Debating Funding Solutions

A plan to shift school funding entirely to the state is breaking out along party lines in Iowa.
Date: February 24, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


School Funding Interpretation Challenged as Arizona Legislators Cut Corporate Taxes

Arizona legislators face a lawsuit after reinterpreting the state’s school funding law, and a recent tax cut will likely further reduce revenues for schools.
Date: February 24, 2011
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Rural Trust Will Present Teen Financial Literacy Workshop at 2011 Youth Leadership Conference

Veniayetta Aikens, Youth Coordinator in the Capacity Building Program of the Rural School and Community Trust, will be hosting the workshop Teens for Financial Literacy at the 22nd Annual National Service-Learning Conference, April 6-9, 2011, in Atlanta, Georgia.


Research Raises Doubts About Benefits of Consolidation

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


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.


Wyoming Legislation Could Add Strings to Funding

Legislative proposals could add a number of new requirements for districts to the school finance formula.


South Dakota Funding Proposal Worse Than Expected

Schools in South Dakota thought budget cuts would total 5%, but cuts are likely to be much deeper.


Washington Special Education Funding Lawsuit Ends

Court denies districts’ request for more funding for special education; rural districts would be disproportionately affected by proposed budget cuts.


North Carolina Weighing Options

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


California Settles School Fee Lawsuit

California will enforce its law prohibiting schools from charging students “fees” to participate in certain classes and activities.


Funding Crisis Driving Some Rural Oregon Districts to Charters

The funding crisis and other budget cuts are pushing some small rural districts in Oregon to become charter schools.


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


Consolidation Lawsuit in Arkansas Addresses Funding Issues

A small rural Arkansas district has sued the state in an attempt to increase funding equity and to establish limits on how long students can be forced to ride a bus to school



Wisconsin Funding Plan Unveiled

A new funding plan proposed in Wisconsin would reduce reliance on property taxes and provide protections specifically for rural districts



Montana in Fight Over School Funding Shifts

Revenues are higher in Montana than predicted earlier this year, but the state is still debating how to fund schools



Alabama Faces Serious Budgetary Woes

Alabama schools, which have already sustained a reduction in state funds of 20% over the last four years, may face additional mid-year cuts



South Dakota Districts to be Heard Before State Supreme Court

A school funding lawsuit with a circuitous history will be heard next month in South Dakota



Rural New York School Recruits Overseas Students

Dwindling populations in small towns have caused hundreds of districts to consolidate their schools and bus kids long distances to bigger schools. But some remote communities are fighting back with a new idea to fill their empty classrooms: They're recruiting international students


Utah Takes on Revenue Issues to Address Low Spending

Utah spends less per pupil than any other state, but that could change…
Date: November 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Oklahoma Ballot Initiative on School Funding Soundly Defeated

Voters seemed driven by concerns about where money would come from to fund a proposal to raise state per pupil spending to the regional average…
Date: November 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Alaska Ballot Initiative on School Funding Successful

Voters approve a bond initiative that will build several new rural schools…


Florida Class Size Limits Will Remain in Place

A constitutional provision that places absolute caps on class sizes survives in Florida…
Date: November 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Class Size, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Ohio Funding Formula Remains Controversial After Election

School funding was a hot topic in Ohio’s gubernatorial campaign and it is still hot as the state readies itself for its Race to the Top award…


Kansas Lawsuit Filed

A coalition of school districts has filed a school funding lawsuit in Kansas…
Date: November 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Proposed California Funding System Fixes Are a Mixed Bag for Rural Schools

A California policy institute has outlined guidelines for reforming California's complex school funding system. but some of the proposals would likely harm many rural schools…
Date: November 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Mississippi Working on Discipline

Fewer suspensions and expulsions in Mississippi as a result of policy changes.
Date: October 27, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline


Consolidation Watch: State Policies on an Important Rural Issue

Consolidation news from Michigan and Vermont.
Date: October 27, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, School Finance/Funding


Kansas Political Buzz All About School Finance

Political posturing around school funding in Kansas.
Date: October 27, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Florida Voters Will Weigh in on Class Size Limits

The Florida Education Association’s attempt to stop a ballot initiative related to class size caps ends in court.
Date: October 27, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Class Size, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Texas Preparing for Funding Challenge

Texas legislators and school board members exploring options for changing funding system.
Date: October 27, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Arizona School Funding Lawsuit Ends

A funding lawsuit will start over in trial court after the state Supreme Court refused to hear it.
Date: October 27, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


South Dakota Candidates Speak Out Against Consolidation

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


Texas Proposal Rewards District Cost-Sharing

Texas districts could receive a portion of their savings if they agree to share services....
Date: September 28, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, School Finance/Funding, School/District Size


Iowa Losing Rural School Districts

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


Calls for Consolidation in Michigan Reveal Many Issues

Calls to consolidate school districts in Michigan are raising all kinds of complicated issues and highlighting exaggerations, over-simplifications, and ideological motivations....
Date: September 28, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, School Finance/Funding, School/District Size


School Discipline: An Occasional Series on Developments in School Disciplinary Policies and Practices

New rules in Iowa limit the use of physical restraints and seclusion for students with disabilities. But some violations have surfaced....


Nevada Considers New Formula

The largest district in Nevada is pushing for a rewrite of the state’s 1967-era school funding formula....
Date: September 28, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


South Carolina System Subject of Gubernatorial Campaign

South Carolina's method of funding K–12 education is a campaign issue in the Governor’s race, again....
Date: September 28, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Arkansas Panel Waits to Make Budget Recommendation

Arkansas panel won't say yet how much money is needed for schools....
Date: September 28, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


West Virginia Governor Calls for Review of State Education Spending

After he failed to get legislation passed to enable West Virginia to compete for federal Race to the Top funds, Governor Joe Manchin has appointed a task force to review state education spending....


Arizona ELL Case Back in Court

Arizona’s long-running English Language Learning case is back in court this month....


Georgia Charter Law Under Fire

Local districts in Georgia are suing the state over charter school authorization....
Date: September 28, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Florida Funding Lawsuit Moves Forward

A school funding lawsuit in Florida will move forward, and a judge rules against a challenge to an initiative that could ease strict class size limits....
Date: September 28, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Class Size, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


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....


North Carolina District Takes Steps to End Zero Tolerance

North Carolina district backs away from controversial discipline policy…


Wyoming Debates Funding Accountability

Lawmakers in Wyoming are considering changes to the state funding formula that could reduce spending flexibility for some school districts…


Class Size Caps Are Subject of Ballot, Lawsuits in Florida

An amendment placing strict caps on class sizes in Florida could be altered in court or at the ballot box this fall…
Date: August 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Accountability, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Ohio Governor Faces Criticism Over Education Claims

Governor Ted Strickland’s claims about education funding in Ohio are under scrutiny…
Date: August 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Accountability, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Kansas Responds to Threat of Lawsuit

The possibility of a school funding lawsuit in Kansas has many lawmakers expressing support for meeting current constitutional requirements…
Date: August 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Accountability, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


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


Arkansas Groups Gear Up for Action on Formula Fairness Campaign

Two rural education advocacy groups held leadership gatherings in Arkansas this month. Both included a focus on bringing fairness to the Title I funding formulas.


West Virginia Community Story Tells Much About School Consolidation

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


Delaware Raises Minimum Reporting Age

Delaware requires schools to report to law enforcement certain student behaviors. But a new law gives schools more reporting leeway for children nine to eleven years old.


Connecticut Reduces Suspension Rate

Publicity along with a new law limiting when students can be put out of school is credited with reducing the state’s high suspension rate.


Georgia Restricts Disciplinary Restraints

Georgia’s state school board has banned schools from using certain kinds of physical restraints as disciplinary measures.


Second California Lawsuit

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


Arkansas Lawsuit Makes Agricultural Claims

A lawsuit challenging the consolidation of a rural district makes unusual claims.


Indiana Says No More Bus Fees

Indiana Attorney General Says No to Bus Fees.


Wisconsin Schools Stand to Gain in New Funding Formula Proposal

Wisconsin’s chief school officer introduces a new school funding formula.
Date: July 23, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Montana Considers Draconian Cuts

Schools in Montana could see very serious cuts in funding, despite a 2004 court ruling.
Date: July 23, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


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.


Washington Lawsuit Moves Forward

A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of special education funding moves forward in Washington.
Date: July 23, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Disabilities, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Oklahoma Ballot Initiative Faces Opposition

A bill to increase spending on Oklahoma schools faces varied opposition in the state, in part, because the measure would peg spending to that of neighboring states.


Full Service Community Schools Grants Due July 23

The U.S. Department of Education has released the Full Service Community Schools (FSCS) grant. The Notice of Intent to Apply deadline is June 23; the application deadline is July 23, 2010.


Vermont Promotes District Consolidation

Vermont’s system of very local control of schools is under threat from new legislation.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, School/District Size


South Carolina Report Examines School Governance Structures

School districts in South Carolina are controlled largely by legislative delegations, with some unusual implications.


Arkansas Cases Challenge School and District Consolidation

A rural school and a rural school district have each lost court cases challenging their consolidation, but there may be a glimmer of hope in the rulings.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Community Organizing, Consolidation, School Location


Mississippi Commission Will Issue Consolidation Report

A Commission formed to recommends school districts for consolidation will issue its report soon.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation


Rhode Island Gets School Funding Formula

The last state in the nation without a school finance formula finally gets one.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


School Funding Lawsuit Filed in Arizona

A group of plaintiffs have filed a lawsuit charging Arizona with failing to follow its funding law.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


School Districts Intend to Sue Kansas

Cuts to education spur a new school funding lawsuit in Kansas.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Pennsylvania Districts Making Big Cuts

School districts in Pennsylvania are making big cuts to their budgets, according to a new survey.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Colorado Makes Demands on Districts Involved in Lawsuit

Colorado is demanding extensive — and expensive — records from school districts in the state.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


California Lawsuit Challenges School Funding System

A lawsuit filed in California could force changes to the state’s funding system, and its influential Proposition 13 amendment that drastically altered the way California collects revenue.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Wyoming Recalibrating its Funding Formula

Wyoming, whose school funding system is one of the most responsive to the needs of small rural schools, is recalibrating its funding formula.
Date: June 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News


Arkansas Community Revitalization Efforts Share Great Approaches

Five rural Arkansas communities are partnering with the Rural Community Alliance on community revitalization initiatives to strengthen their communities, grow their economies, and support educational opportunity. What they are doing and learning has much to offer other rural communities dealing with declining enrollment and the erosion of jobs and economic opportunity…


Citizens Call for Transparency in Mississippi Consolidation Recommendations

The Governor’s Commission on Mississippi Education Structure is likely to recommend dissolving 18 small rural school districts. Citizens are asking for the data analysis that was used to identify the districts.


U.S. Department of Education Holds Webinar on Reauthorization of ESEA and Rural Schools

John White, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Rural Outreach at the U.S. Department of Education, is inviting rural superintendents and principals to participate in a webinar on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and rural schools on Thursday, May 27, 2010, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
Date: May 25, 2010
Related Categories: Administrator, Resource Center
Related Tags: Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Webinar


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.


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.


Save Alabama's Small Schools Hosts Statewide Meeting

SASS conference draws attention for important issues…
Date: April 29, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Community Organizing, Education Policy and Activism


Connecticut High Court Rules in School Finance Case

A long-awaited decision in Connecticut affirms the right to an adequate education in that state; the decision also establishes a role for the courts in school funding matters
Date: April 29, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News


Illinois' Economy Spurs Actions on Education Funding

A new lawsuit in Illinois claims that the current method of funding schools discriminated against taxpayers in property poor school districts…
Date: April 29, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News


Alaska Judge Demands Action for Rural Schools

The court may appoint a special master to address the needs of low-performing rural schools if the state does not quickly develop a plan for meeting needs in those schools…
Date: April 29, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News


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.


Rhode Island Funding Formula Proposed

After 15 years Rhode Island may get a formula for funding schools…
Date: March 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Consolidation Plans Being Pushed in Kansas

Several bills that would require or incentivize district consolidation are under consideration in Kansas…


Colorado School Funding Lawsuit Moving Ahead

After a court reversal, plaintiffs are joining in a school funding lawsuit…


South Dakota Funding Fight Update

Funding getting worse and lawsuit is moving forward in South Dakota…
Date: March 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Wisconsin Rural Schools Banking on Local Voters

Funding shortfalls are forcing many rural school districts to seek voter approvals to override levy caps…
Date: March 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Washington Districts Will Look Locally to Meet Funding Gap

Shortfalls in education funding in Washington have led legislators to lift levy caps in the state…
Date: March 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Zero Tolerance Reform Bill Advances in Georgia

A bill to give schools more authority over student punishments is moving through the Georgia legislature…
Date: March 26, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Discipline, Rural School Funding News


Rural Schools Partnership Newsletter: March 15, 2010

Rural Schools Partnership
This weekly update from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks reports on the latest news for the Rural Schools Partnership, a comprehensive effort to enhance rural education through alternative resource development, collaboration, and place-based education strategies.
Date: March 15, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Schools Partnership
Related Tags: Rural Schools Partnership Newsletter


Rural Education Advocacy Group Speaks Out on Charters

A group of Alabama citizens that advocates for policies that bring equitable opportunity for rural students and the small and rural schools they attend has taken a stand as the state considers adopting a charter school law… 
Date: February 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Civic Engagement, Education Policy and Activism, Race to the Top


Big Congrats to Arkansas's Rural Community Alliance

The Rural Community Alliance continues to engage more rural residents in its important work…
Date: February 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Community Organizing, Education Policy and Activism


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


Washington Plaintiffs Victorious in School Funding Lawsuit

A Washington State judge finds funding levels unconstitutional and cites over-reliance on local property levies as a problem…
Date: February 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


Kansas Plaintiff Districts Will Begin a New Lawsuit

Kansas districts will not be able to re-open an earlier school funding case and will file a new lawsuit instead…


Ohio Districts Targeted for Consolidation by Report

A national think-tank has co-authored a report recommending closing at least 200 districts in Ohio…


Alaska Rural School Facilities Receiving Attention by Policymakers

Rural schools in remote regions of Alaska may finally see some resolution to their facilities needs, ten years into a facilities funding case…
Date: February 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


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...


Annenberg Scholar to Attend Boston College

Lydia Ducharme, the 2009 Rural School and Community Trust recipient of the Leonore Annenberg Scholarship and a senior at Hazen Union School in Hardwick, Vermont, will attend Boston College in Fall 2010.


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.


Links to Other Rural Education Resources

The following websites are good sources of information with regard to rural schools and school districts.
Date: September 18, 2009
Related Categories: Resource Center
Related Tags: All States


North Carolina Voices: Radio Series Addresses Rural Education Issues

WUNC Reporter Dave DeWitt visits Warren County to bring listeners the latest edition of the award-winning North Carolina Voices series. The Rural Trust's Executive Director Dr. Doris Terry Williams and Policy Director Marty Strange are featured in the first segment of the series.


Rural Schools Partnership Launched

Rural Schools PartnershipThe Community Foundation of the Ozarks has launched the Rural Schools Partnership, a comprehensive effort to enhance rural education through alternative resource development, collaboration, and place-based education strategies. The Rural Trust is a partner in this program.


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.


Search for Resources by State

Use this map to find resources from your state on the Rural Trust website.
Date: June 26, 2009
Related Categories: Resource Center
Related Tags: All States


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.


Rural South Carolinians Help District Rethink Consolidation

Communities pulled together in South Carolina to stop the closure of their schools…


WKCD Speech Contest 2009: Crisis and Hope

Young people today are living through a time of economic and world crisis. But crisis also gives birth to hope and opportunity. As Graduation Day approaches, WKCD invites you to raise your voice and let others know what matters most to you, in this moment and in the years ahead. Give it your best and you may be a winner, with your voice heard around the world!
Date: April 02, 2009
Related Categories: Funding/Grants/Scholarships, Resource Center, Rural Policy Matters, Student
Related Tags: Youth


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.


There You Go Again

Lavina Grandon, Policy and Education Director of Arkansas’s Advocates for Community and Rural Education to an editorial, responds to an editorial entitled, “There they go again,” published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; February 10, 2009; page 16 (Editorial section).


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 School and Community Trust 2008 Annual Report

The projects and programs featured in our 2008 Annual Report represent the scope of our work aimed at fulfilling that mission. This report also includes a list of our board of directors, key staff, and financial statements for 2008.



East Iberville High Gets $48,797 Grant

A State Farm Insurance youth advisory board has awarded a $48,797 grant to fund teaching of financial literacy tostudents at East Iberville High School in St. Gabriel, Louisiana.


An Analysis of the Impacts of the AIR Funding Formula Proposal on New Mexico School Districts

Impacts of the AIR Funding Formula Proposal on New Mexico School DistrictsAn Analysis of the Impacts of the AIR Funding Formula Proposal on New Mexico School Districts, a report of the Rural School and Community Trust and the Ben Lujan Leadership and Public Policy Institute, presents findings from an investigation of the impact of the funding formula proposal commissioned by the New Mexico Funding Formula Task Force (FFTF) and developed by American Institutes of Research (AIR).


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.


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...


Facts and Figures About Rural Students of Color

The total number of rural students of color more than double between 1995-96 and 2004-05.


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?


Help Shape the National Rural Education Policy Agenda

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


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…


RSIN Membership Brochure

The Rural School Innovation Network (RSIN) is a network of schools and school districts striving for excellence in challenging circumstances. The Membership Brochure describes benefits of this program.


Infusing Heritage and Connectedness in Academic Support in North Carolina

In North Carolina, a committed community group is making a difference for young people and the whole community...


Working Together to Stay Small, Get More Efficient

Can the operating costs of small schools be reduced — not by making them big through consolidation — but by inter-local cooperation among small schools and districts? The Western Maine Educational Collaborative (WMEC) says so, and it’s proving it.


RSIN Webinar: Engaging Communities to Help Every Child Succeed, May 29, 2008

Learn how local groups have engaged large numbers of citizens and organizations and partnered with schools to institute strong, in-school and out-of-school programs to ensure the success of every child.


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.


Rural School and Community Trust 2007 Annual Report

The Rural School and Community Trust's 2007 Annual Report provides a summary of the organization's programs, achievements, and goals.


RSIN Quarterly: Case Studies of Successful Practices

Wakefield Nebraska Family Resource Center: RSIN Case StudyRead about Wakefield, Nebraska's Family Resource Center with multiple programs serving the community, including new immigrants into the school and the community.


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.


The Rural Perspective: An Analysis of the Proposed Department of Education's Budget and How It Will Impact Rural America for FY 2008

In partnership with AASA, NEA, and NAFIS, we provide an overview of how the President's proposed budget will affect rural schools and communities.


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. "


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.


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.


Riding to School in Slow Motion

Riding to School in Slow MotionStudents who attend consolidated rural high schools face longer bus rides and are less likely to participate in extra-curricular activities because of the challenge of transportation. This is one finding in Slow Motion: Traveling by School Bus in Consolidated Districts in West Virginia. Survey results show that high school students who ride the bus and attend consolidated high schools lose an average of 49 minutes each day, compared to students who have other forms of transportation in those same districts. Though the report focuses specifically on consolidation outcomes in West Virginia, the lessons learned are a warning to any state that has pursued or is considering pursuing consolidation as an education policy.


Recommendations for Improvements to No Child Left Behind

The Rural Trust recommends an alternative approach to six areas of NCLB in order to take into account the unique circumstances of rural schools and rural students.


The Hobbit Effect: Why Small Works in Public Schools

The Hobbit Effect: Why Small Works in Public SchoolsWhile numerous studies have documented that small schools effectively boost student achievement, especially among at-risk students, our report, The Hobbit Effect: Why Small Works in Public Schools summarizes the vast research literature that explains just why small works in schooling, identifying ten research-based attributes of small schools that are proven to have a positive impact on kids and their learning.


An Investigation of School Closures Resulting from Forced District Reorganization in Arkansas

An Investigation of School Closures Resulting from Forced District Reorganization in ArkansasSome policymakers and other advocates of reorganizing Arkansas' public education system have insisted that the minimum district size requirements included in Act 60 and the district closings authorized under the Omnibus Education Act are aimed at closing school districts only, for the sake of "administrative" efficiency. They argue that the forced reorganization of districts is not intended to close schools. Some tease the issue a bit, adding that at the very least it doesn't have to happen, and in their view, probably will not happen. This analysis of the ways that reorganization has played out over the past two years strongly suggests otherwise.


Compounding Challenges: Student Achievement and the Distribution of Human and Fiscal Resources in Oregon's Rural School Districts

Compounding ChallengesThis report presents findings from an investigation into relationships between academic achievement and the distribution of fiscal resources among rural school districts in Oregon. The investigation was prompted by earlier-reported findings suggesting the critical nature of both achievement gaps and resource gaps among rural school districts in the state. A variety of statistical procedures yielded consistent findings indicating that there is considerable disparity in the distribution of fiscal resources among rural districts, and that the level of fiscal resources available to districts significantly influences educational outcomes.


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.


20 Strategies to Address Declining Enrollment

For those rural schools and communities across the country facing declining student enrollment, there are no easy answers. But there are steps policymakers and communities can take to help cushion the negative impact of declining enrollment on schools to ensure that "no child left behind" also means "no place left behind." 20 Strategies to Address Declining Enrollment details 20 policies that provide students in communities experiencing declining enrollment with a high quality education and also buy time for communities to rebound, improve, or adjust to changes in population and revenue.


Rural School and Community Trust 2005 Annual Report

Learn the details of our key strategies in fulfilling our mission, along with our list of board of directors, key staff, and financial statements for 2005.


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.


A Year of Civics in Action: 2004-2005

A Year of Civics in Action: 2004-2005The 2004-2005 report on the progress of the first year of the Rural Civic Engagement Initiative. Includes review of activities in Ohio, South Carolina, Vermont, Wisconsin.


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.


Rural School and Community Trust 2004 Annual Report

The mission of the Rural School and Community Trust is to help rural schools and communities get better together.


Good Rural High School Case Study: Sicily Island High School, Sicily Island, Louisiana

Siciliy Island HIgh SchoolThis case study of Siciliy Island High School, Sicily Island, Louisiana using the Good Rural High School assessment rubric developed by the Rural School and Community Trust reveals a rural high school that is yielding results.


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.


Rural Equity Collaborative Fights for Rural Kids in Four States

Four state organizations and the Rural School and Community Trust are entering the third year of a partnership that is making a difference for rural kids in Mississippi, Nebraska, Vermont, and West Virginia.


Good Rural High Schools: Principles and Standards

Principles and StandardsPrinciples and standards for good high schools developed by the Rural School and Community Trust.


Good Rural High Schools: Rubrics and Standards for High School Observation and Assessment

Rubrics and StandardsRubric-based assessment system for high schools developed by the Rural School and Community Trust.


Lights, Camera... Leadership!

Lights Camera Leadership!Lights, Camera... Leadership! is a high school credit-bearing curriculum that develops leadership and academic skills through the process of making and premiering a Community Video.


The Star with My Name: The Alaska Rural Systemic Initiative and the Impact of Place-Based Education on Native Student Achievement

The Star With My NameThis white paper from the Rural Trust's capacity building program shows how place-based learning has led to favorable academic outcomes for students in rural Alaska. "The Star With My Name" recounts the methods and successes of the Alaska Rural Systemic Initiative using place-based learning with Alaska Native students in the state's small rural schools.


Land for Granted: The Effects of Acreage Policies on Rural Schools and Communities

Land for GrantedIn many states, receiving state aid to build a new school — or renovate an existing one — is contingent on compliance with state policies that state the minimum acreage necessary for a particular type of school. This report finds that these minimum acreage requirements — imposed in 23 states — often create special problems for rural school districts. The report also explains the kinds of policies in effect in various states and outlines their impacts on small and rural school districts.


Place-Based Learning Portfolio Workbook

A self-evaluation system in which school and community groups gather evidence of their place-based learning efforts, tell the story of their work while drawing on that evidence, and then analyze and reflect on their progress toward their goals.


Engaged Institutions: Impacting Vulnerable Youth Through Place-Based Learning

Engaged InstitutionsWith funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Rural Trust sponsored several researchers to develop case studies examining the connections between higher education institutions and vulnerable youth in communities that have chosen place-based education as a framework for student learning and community growth. The report explores the development of rural Education Renewal Zones in Missouri, an aquaculture project in northeastern Maine that is helping revitalize a small town's fishing economy, and a project in New Mexico focused on water use and conservation through using an "acequia" irrigation system. Engaged Institutions also features in-depth studies on other place-based learning partnerships including initiatives to preserve Navajo culture in Indian schools in Arizona, unique media arts projects in Appalachia, and a project aimed at improving writing skills using local culture in the Mississippi Delta.


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.


Distance Learning Technologies: Giving Small Schools Big Capabilities

In school and district consolidation, the well-documented benefits of small schools to students and their communities are lost. It doesn't have to be this way. Other alternatives, such as distance learning, are both possible and preferable. Distance learning can provide students access to a virtually unlimited curriculum while retaining the benefits of small, local schools. But distance learning can be done well, or badly. Here, too, there are choices.


Closing Costs: A Summary of an Award Winning Look at School Consolidation in West Virginia, a State Where It Has Been Tried Aggressively

Few states have pursued consolidation of rural schools more aggressively than West Virginia. With the promise of broader curriculum and huge tax savings, the state has closed more than 300 schools, one in every five, since 1990. In 2002, the Charleston Gazette investigated the outcomes of the state's consolidation efforts in the series, "Closing Costs."


Lowering the Overhead by Raising the Roof ...and other Rural Trust strategies to reduce the costs of your small school

Lowering the OverheadLowering the Overhead by Raising the Roof provides strategies to help communities reduce the costs of maintaining, building, and renovating small schools, author Barbara Lawrence reports on specific strategies that rural communities have used and shares what she has learned from people throughout the country.


Tell Us How It Was: Stories of Rural Elders Preserved by Rural Youth

Tell Us How It WasA valuable collection of oral histories assembled by students in rural communities across the country, this unbound volume designed for a three-ring binder seeks to both celebrate this outstanding work and also encourage teachers and students to design oral history projects of their own. It includes samples of oral histories gathered from around the country, a review of an oral history project from planning through to completion, and an extensive annoutated bibliography, detailing oral history resources for teachers and students.


Echoes in the Hallway: A Play by Joseph P. Hiney

Echoes in the Hallway: A Play by Joseph P. HineyThis student performance produced by the Rural Trust Policy Program raises many troubling topics teens face -- abuse, discrimination, suicide, pregnancy, school violence -- all while trying to make sense of a standardized system of schooling. Recommended as a powerful conversation/meeting starter for education and youth advocacy groups, faculty, administrators, students and policymakers.
Date: September 01, 2001
Related Categories: Curriculum, Resource Center, Resource Shop, Student, Teacher
Related Tags: Assessing Student Work, Rural Trust Publication, Youth


Assessing Student Work

Assessing Student WorkAn update of the earlier Assessment Monograph, this report discusses the limitations of standardized testing in evaluating student progress and offers alternative methods to assess project and place-based student work.


Standards in Public Schools: A Policy Statement of the Rural School and Community Trust

http://www.ruraledu.org/articles.php?id=2087This document articulates the Rural Trust's views on academic standards, with particular emphasis on the role of community input in setting and maintaining standards. Ann C. Lewis, columnist for KAPPAN magazine, called this policy statement "one of the finest philosophical documents to come out of the standards movement."


Parent Participation, School Accountability & Rural Education: The Impact of KERA on Kentucky School Facilities Policy

This report discusses particular forms of parent involvement and democratic empowerment now partially restored in the state of Kentucky which have become engendered as a result of the Kentucky Educational Reform Act (KERA) of 1990, a landmark attempt to reduce inequity statewide.