Federal Policy


Report: Leveling The Playing Field For Rural Students

Leveling the Playing FieldLimited access to advanced coursework, medical care, food and employment opportunities continue to daunt students in many rural communities, according to a report released today by AASA, The School Superintendents Association, and The Rural School and Community Trust.


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.


Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Proposal Eliminates Impact Aid Section 8002 Funding

The Administration's Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal request recommends the elimination of funding for Impact Aid, Section 8002 (Federal Properties) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).


There's Poverty...

Thoughts on what it means to talk about poverty and to address it in very distressed communities.


Impact Aid School Districts Bear Brunt of Federal Budget Cuts

When the across-the-board federal budget cuts, known as the Sequester, took effect on March 1, 2013, school districts receiving federal Impact Aid experienced an immediate reduction of funds for the 2012-2013 school year, because funding for the Impact Aid Program is used the same school year it is appropriated.


"Impact Aid" School Districts Brace for Sequester

Because most districts have already received their federal funding for the current school year, any impact from the federal sequester would affect the next school year. However, for those school districts which receive Impact Aid funding, the effects may be more immediate.


Budget Sequestration: Tougher Times Ahead for Rural Schools?

High-poverty rural schools could face steep cuts if Congress and the President don’t reach agreement on how to address the nation’s budget deficit.
Date: August 28, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, What's New
Related Tags: Federal Policy, School Finance/Funding


RTTT-D Competition and Small High-Poverty Districts

The Race to the Top-District competition is available to districts and consortia of districts, and it is aimed at classroom level reform efforts. But its requirements raise challenges for rural districts. 
Date: August 28, 2012
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Policy, Race to the Top, School/District Size


Future of Highly Qualified Teacher Rules Still Unclear

The Rural Trust, along with nearly 100 education, civil rights, and disability groups is urging Congress to reserve Highly Qualified status for teachers who have completed certification training. 


Obama Administration to Lower Student Loan Payments for Millions of Borrowers

The Obama Administration is moving forward with a new "Pay As You Earn" proposal that will reduce monthly payments for more than one and a half million current college students and borrowers.
Date: October 25, 2011
Related Categories: Student, What's New
Related Tags: College/University, Federal Policy, Income Related Issues


New Co-Sponsor of All Children Are Equal Act

The All Children are Equal Act in the U.S. House of Representatives has a new co-sponsor.


All Children are Equal Act Introduced

The All Children are Equal (ACE) Act was introduced July 12 in the U.S. House of Representatives by 11 original co-sponsors led by Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA).


Save the Children Joins Funding Formula Campaign

The national non-profit Save the Children is the newest sponsor to join the Formula Fairness Campaign.


Number Weighting in a One-Page Handout

Ever wish you had a simple tool to help you explain how the Title I formulas work and why they provide a lot less money to low-income children in some school districts than others? Now you have it.


Formula Fairness Campaign Continues to Grow

The number of organizations that are co-sponsoring a national effort to bring fairness to the federal Title I program continues to increase.
Date: January 25, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Policy, Formula Fairness Campaign, Title I


Marty Strange Briefs U.S. Senate on i3, Title I

Rural Trust Policy Director Marty Strange briefed staff in the U.S. Senate on the rural impact of the Investing in Innovation grant program. Strange also presented information on inequities in Title I funding that harm very low-income students in smaller school districts.
Date: January 24, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, What's New
Related Tags: Federal Policy, Investing in Innovation


RT Report: Few i3 "Rural" Grants Generating Rural Innovation

The federal Investing in Innovation (i3) grant program — intended to spark innovative approaches in schools — included a “competitive preference” for projects designed to focus on the unique challenges of high-need students in rural school districts. But a report released this month by the Rural Trust finds that with few exceptions i3 did little to generate innovation specific to rural schools. Instead, the rural preference primarily benefitted urban projects that included a small number of rural schools. The report examines how the rural preference component was applied in projects that won i3 funding and offers thoughts on alternative approaches that might generate rural-specific innovations for high-needs students in rural schools.
Date: January 24, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Policy, Investing in Innovation


Formula Fairness Campaign Gains Three New Sponsors

This month, three new organizations became co-sponsors of the Formula Fairness Campaign. Find out how your organization can join the effort.
Date: December 22, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Education Policy, Federal Policy, Formula Fairness Campaign, Title I


Senators Raise Concerns About Rural Districts in i3

Thirteen U.S. Senators have sent a letter to Secretary Duncan expressing concerns and raising questions about the i3 federal grant process and its impact on rural schools.


It Is Time for Something More Meaningful Than No "Excuses"

It’s time to address the real challenges that undermine the educational opportunities of many of our nation’s children

Date: December 21, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Education Policy, Federal Policy, Income Related Issues, Title I


The RPM-PX Take on a Report Exploring Practices in Successful "Turnaround" Schools

There is no single solution to improving persistently low-performing schools; instead improvement takes a variety of supports and strategies and will work differently in the unique circumstances of individual schools.


Large Very Low Poverty Districts Benefit in Title I Formula at Expense of High Poverty Districts Large and Small

New analysis of the effects of “number-weighting” in the Title I formulas demonstrate that very low poverty large districts are big winners, getting more money per poor student than very high poverty large districts. Smaller very poor districts loseTitle I funding to both high and low poverty large districts - all because of the effects of the formula…


Title I Inequities in Plain Language

Some districts get less Title I money per eligible student than others, often much less, even in districts with very high poverty rates. That discrepancy is explained here with easy-to-understand examples…


Searching for Hamlet: To be or not to be for rural education

The Obama administration has a great chance to learn about rural communities, but only if it will refrain from preaching a pre-determined agenda and really listen…


White House Meeting on Rural Education Identifies Important Topics

A White House gathering of representatives of a number of rural education organizations identified key issues affecting rural schools and suggested policy initiatives…
Date: July 18, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Policy, No Child Left Behind, Small Schools/School Size, Title I


Special Education Ruling

More special education students could be eligible for reimbursement for private school tuition…
Date: July 18, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: All States, Federal Policy, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding


More Legal Guidance on Strip Searches

A strip search of a 13-year-old girl was ruled unreasonable by the highest court…
Date: July 18, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, Student
Related Tags: All States, Federal Policy, Youth


Medicaid Rural Change

Medicaid can continue to reimburse schools for some expenses related to providing services to students with disabilities…
Date: July 18, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Disabilities, Federal Policy, Rural School Funding News, School Finance/Funding