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

Last Updated: April 01, 2006

This article appeared in the April 2006 Rural Policy Matters.

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

The pilot program, called Community Partnership for Rural Revitalization, serves six districts. More districts will be added in each of the next few years with a goal of eventually including at least 48 of the state's 89 districts.

Small rural school districts in New Mexico face issues common to rural schools throughout much of the nation: declining enrollment, high poverty, and inadequate funding. Over half the state's K-12 districts have fewer than 1,000 students, and these districts serve some of the nation's most economically distressed communities. New Mexico leads the nation in the percentage of rural families with school age children living in poverty.

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Read more from the April 2006 Rural Policy Matters.