Rural Policy Matters: October 2012

Last Updated: October 29, 2012

Rural Policy Matters: October 2012

to RPM

The October 2012 issue of Rural Policy Matters includes stories that feature innovations in rural schools; a youth-led poverty reduction program that's improving economic prospects in its community; an overview of state ballot initiatives related to education; Part 2 of "The Rules We Play By"; School Discipline News; Rural School Funding News; a graph; and more....

Facts and Figures: States With a High Percentage of Rural English Language Learner Students
In which 11 states are more than 5% of all rural students classified as English Language Learners?

The Health and Future of Our Community
Students lead economic development prospects in their communities.

Voters Consider Ballot Initiatives on Education
Next month's elections will steer a course in many states with education initiatives on the statewide ballot.

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.

The Rules We Play By, Part 2: Who Makes the Rules?
Local public schools are governed by a variety of rules. But who makes those rules? The "Who Makes the Rule?" is the second in a series of RPM stories that explores some of the ways public policy affects what's possible in local schools — and why you should care.

Marty Strange Wins Research Award for Title I Analysis
Former Rural Trust Policy Director Marty Strange was recognized this month for outstanding research in the field of rural education.

School Turnaround Policies Unlikely to Improve Student Performance, According to Report
A new study argues that most current school reforms are unlikely to improve education and may weaken student performance, school climate, and communities. It argues instead for sustained investment in high-poverty schools, support for teachers, and authentic engagement of parents and communities in the development of reforms.

Alabama State Department of Education Sued over Student Records
Advocacy organization says harsh immigration law forced students to flee schools for fear of deportation.

Schools That Change Communities
A new film documents the potential of place-based education.


School Discipline Policy

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.

New Film on Positive Effects of PBIS
A new documentary points up the challenges of students with emotional and behavioral disabilities and how Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports can make a difference for these students and their schools.

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.


Rural School Funding News

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.

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.

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.



2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP): Writing, Grades 8 and 12
The NAEP writing scores of students in schools in rural communities and small towns fall between those of students in cities and suburbs.