School & District Management

Long Bus Rides Said To Hurt Rural Achievement

By Alan Richard — September 12, 2001 1 min read

Bus rides for many rural schoolchildren are long and rough—and they are worse for students from poorer families, a report released last week says.

“The Rural School Bus Ride in Five States” includes results from surveys of nearly 700 elementary school principals in Arkansas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and Washington state.

Read the report, “The Rural School Bus Ride in Five States,” Aug. 20, 2001.

The report was co-written and researched by Craig Howley, the director of the ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, and his wife, Aimee Howley, the chairwoman of the education studies department at Ohio University in Athens. It was written for the Rural School and Community Trust, a Washington-based advocacy organization for rural schools.

Bus rides of 30 minutes or longer are 75 percent more common in largely poor rural communities, compared with more affluent rural communities, the researchers found. One in four rural schools reported bus rides of an hour or longer, and said that many drivers lack emergency training and ways to communicate with their bases.

A surprising finding, the Howleys say, is that bus rides, on average, were longer for rural white schoolchildren than for rural minority students.

The study says consolidation of rural districts could result in longer bus rides for children, negatively affecting their ability to learn.

“Rural kids are put at a disadvantage across the board,” Ms. Howley said.

The study follows a similar one presented by the couple in April, written for the Rural School and Community Trust and the Charleston, W.Va.-based Appalachian Regional Educational Laboratory, showing that rural children faced significantly longer school bus rides than suburban students did.

The results suggest that more research needs to be done on how American schools define community schooling, Mr. Howley said, and on how close to home schools should be.

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar Making Big Technology Decisions: Advice for District Leaders, Principals, and Teachers
Educators at all levels make decisions that can have a huge impact on students. That’s especially true when it comes to the use of technology, which was activated like never before to help students learn
Professional Development Webinar Expand Digital Learning by Expanding Teacher Training
This discussion will examine how things have changed and offer guidance on smart, cost-effective ways to expand digital learning efforts and train teachers to maximize the use of new technologies for learning.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
The Social-Emotional Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on American Schoolchildren
Hear new findings from an analysis of our 300 million student survey responses along with district leaders on new trends in student SEL.
Content provided by Panorama

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Opinion Schools Faced a Massive Systems Failure During the Pandemic. How Do We Fix It?
Education leaders can (and must) find common purpose in the face of COVID-19, writes one superintendent.
Laura Kagy
2 min read
Hands hold up gears together.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Getty Images
School & District Management 4 Ways to Keep Staff and Students Safe From the Delta Variant
Just as schools reopen, a super-contagious COVID-19 variant is infecting people nationwide at alarming rates. Here's what schools can do.
5 min read
Students and parents walk into school on the first day of school at Enrique S. Camarena Elementary School on July 21, 2021, in Chula Vista, Calif.
Students and parents walk into school on the first day of school at Enrique S. Camarena Elementary School on July 21, 2021, in Chula Vista, Calif.
Denis Poroy/AP
School & District Management Opinion Q&A Collections: Education Policy Issues
Posts on the key education policy issues from the past 10 years.
13 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
School & District Management Opinion Leaders, Your Communication Plan Needs to Start With Your Staff
Staff members are the point of contact for thousands of interactions with the public each day. They can’t be the last to know of changes.
Gladys I. Cruz
2 min read
A staff meeting around a table.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Getty Images