Rural Policy Matters: December 2011

Last Updated: December 30, 2011

Rural Policy Matters: December 2011

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The December 2011 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes a story about Montana’s decision to decline NCLB waivers; research that finds many Title I schools receive less state and local funding than other schools; new guidance for schools on voluntary efforts to achieve diversity; an update on the All Children are Equal Act and the Formula Fairness Campaign; Rural School Funding News; and more.

Facts and Figures About States With the Largest Organizational Scale of Rural Schools
In which five states is the “organizational scale” of rural schools largest? (Hint: “organizational scale” is a proxy for the overall size of schools and districts — or how consolidated, or not consolidated, rural schools are. It is computed by multiplying the total school enrollment by the total district enrollment.)

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.

All Children Are Equal Act Gains Sponsors, Garners Attention
The bill to end discrimination in the way Title I funding is distributed has gained two more sponsors, continues to attract attention.

Many Title I Schools Don't Get Comparable Share of State and Local Funding
A recent report from the U.S. Department of Education finds that many school districts spend less state and local funds per-pupil in their Title I and highest-poverty schools than in schools with lower rates of student poverty.

New Guidance for School Districts Seeking to Achieve Diversity, Avoid Racial Isolation
School districts have new federal guidance for voluntary approaches to achieving diversity and avoiding racial isolation in schools.


Rural School Funding News

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.



Percent Public School Districts With Any Students Enrolled in Distance Education Courses, 2009-10
Rural schools, at all grade levels, are somewhat less likely than schools in other locales to enroll students in distance education courses.