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Rural Concerns

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Below is an excerpt from an Oct. 6 letter to Secretary of Education Rod Paige from Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico and Gov. Judy Martz of Montana regarding the complexities of implementing the No Child Left Behind Act in rural states such as theirs.

Gov. Bill Richardson

"As we have worked to implement this complex, sweeping, and well- intentioned legislation in Montana and New Mexico, we remain with the impression that NCLB and its accompanying rules contain expectations that create difficulties in providing quality educational services in rural states. ...

Gov. Judy Martz

"At the core of the problem is the simple fact that 42 percent of the schools throughout the West are in rural areas. Nearly 33 percent of the students in our nation attend school in towns of fewer than 25,000 people. A rural school with fewer than 100 students lacks similarity to Los Angeles Unified School District. NCLB attempts to treat them the same; they are not. As a result, many rural states and their schools feel as though they have not been considered in NCLB."

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