Increased funding, online education, and charter schools are three areas of promise for improving rural education, according to the head of a national charter school advocacy group.
Nina Rees, president and chief executive officer of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, wrote an opinion piece for U.S. News & World Report in which she discusses the need to focus more on the needs of rural schools.
“One roadblock standing in the way of improving rural schools is that we simply don’t know enough about the unique challenges and opportunities they face,” she wrote. “We do know that lack of funding and an inability to find enough qualified teachers hamper rural education. But there are few solutions designed specifically for rural schools and students.”
Rees offered three suggestions for helping rural schools:
- Providing more state and federal money to rural students, who often live in communities with small tax bases;
- Offering high-quality online instruction, which could increase the educational opportunities for rural students; and,
- Creating more rural charter schools, which she said offer innovative learning environments and curriculum.
“These three areas - more funding for rural students, broadband connectivity to power online learning, and more educational options through charter schools - have the potential to dramatically improve the quality of rural education in America,” she wrote.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Rural Education blog.