Rural Policy Matters: November 2011

Last Updated: November 30, 2011

Rural Policy Matters: November 2011

to RPM
The November 2011 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes a call to urge Congressional Representatives to support the ACE Act to end discrimination in Title I funding; a rural school with an interesting technology initiative; an important court decision in Alabama; a report on urban school closures that touches rural themes; Center for Midwestern Initiatives blog, Rural School Funding News; and more.

Facts and Figures About States With Lowest State Funding for Rural Schools
Which six states spend the lowest percentage of state education funds on rural schools?

All Children are Equal Act (H.R. 2485) to be Considered by the House Education and the Workforce Committee
Contact Your Member of Congress Now to Urge Support
The ACE act to end discrimination against most high-poverty districts in Title I funding is at an important juncture. Congressional Representatives need to hear from their constituents that this bill is critical.

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.

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.

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.

Report on Urban School Closures Touches Rural Consolidation Themes
A recent report from the Pew Charitable Trusts looks at some of the potential outcomes of closing schools in Philadelphia.

Center for Midwestern Initiatives Blog Launched
The Center for Midwestern Initiatives invites participants to its new blog.


Rural School Funding News

Additional Texas Funding Lawsuits Filed
Not just one, but two lawsuits have been filed challenging the school funding system in Texas.

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.

School Fees Pose Problems in Several States
As poor economies linger, more states have begun allowing schools to charge fees for a variety of school services and programs. But those fees are being challenged in several states.

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.



Total Number of Rural ELL Students, 2006-07 to 2009-10
The total number of students learning English in rural schools increased by nearly 50% in the three most recent years for which data is available.