‘Insiders’ Find Federal Policies Poorly Suited for Rural Districts

By Diette Courrégé Casey — November 26, 2013 1 min read
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More than three-fourths of a group of education leaders said in a survey that federal policies were designed primarily for urban and suburban schools districts and often are poorly suited to rural ones.

That’s one of the results in this month’s Education Insider, which is a monthly report by the policy-oriented consulting group Whiteboard Advisors. The goal is to provide perspective on federal education policy trends, debates, and issues from the folks who are shaping them.

Rural education was one of this report’s focus areas, and the survey included rural-related questions on technology, consolidation, and policy.

Most respondents don’t think rural education is a priority for the U.S. Department of Education (they gave it an average score of “4" on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of its perceived importance among U.S. Department of Education leaders), according to the survey.

When asked about which federal policies, programs, or initiatives are the most burdensome for rural districts, the most popular answer was the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which is the law requiring services for children with disabilities.

When asked which one thing the federal government could do to improve education for rural students, the most popular answer was to provide more funding flexibility.

I wonder whether rural leaders in the field would agree with the insiders on burdensome policies and ways the federal government could improve. How would you have answered those questions?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Rural Education blog.