Schools across the country close down each year for a variety of reasons. In rural areas like Hughes, Ark., it’s often because they are serving smaller numbers of students and it no longer makes economic sense. More than 60 districts in Arkansas have consolidated or merged since a 2004 state law required at least 350 students to keep a school open. But research suggests that such closures sometimes have a disparate–and disruptive–effect on communities. Photographer Karen Pulfer Focht and Education Week reporter Denisa Superville recently visited the rural town to document the disruptive effects that students and families now face as a result of these school closures.
A version of this article first appeared in the Full Frame blog.