One high-profile rural charter school is being used to make a case as to why that’s a potentially good option for boosting achievement in rural areas.
A new nine-page article on the Walton Rural Life Center in rural Walton, Kan., describes how this small, 170-student school has become one of the most successful rural charter schools.
“A Town Turned Classroom: How a Focus on Farming Saved a Rural Kansas School,” was published by Education Sector, a think tank based in Washington, D.C., that supports charter schools as part of its policy positions.
The article uses the school to make the case for rural charter schools, which have more flexibility than traditional schools. It contends rural charter school growth has been prohibited by state laws, citing Vermont as an example. More than half of that state’s schools are rural, but the state has no charter law.
Rural charter schools are few and far between, and the Walton Rural Life Center has been able to overcome the challenges facing those kinds of schools.
Still, the article says the school needs to continue growing to keep going, and it doesn’t have funding readily available. A fundraising campaign with a $300,000 goal has been launched, but with only 10 percent of that raised thus far, they’ve got a ways to go.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Rural Education blog.