To the Editor:
The report from the Government Accountability Office on the challenges facing rural schools in implementing the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act suggests that the U.S. Department of Education lacks an understanding of rural schools and communities (“Rural Schools in Need of Guidance, GAO Says,” Oct. 6, 2004).
A solution to this problem would be to develop a joint project between the Education Department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA has considerable knowledge of rural communities and the important role schools play in maintaining their vitality. The addition of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services would lead to an interagency effort that could really address the problems of small, rural school districts and the communities they serve.