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Rural Education

Learn more about rural schools and districts, including research and policies that affect rural schools
Education Week opinion letters submissions
Gwen Keraval for Education Week
Recruitment & Retention Letter to the Editor Teacher Housing Is a Critical Need in Native Communities
We can't forget about Indian lands school districts when talking about teacher housing, says this letter to the editor.
January 30, 2024
1 min read
In this Aug. 13, 2014, file photo, a student prepares to leave the Enterprise Attendance Center school southeast of Brookhaven Miss. The federal government has decided to delay changing the way it determines funding for rural education after a bipartisan group of lawmakers said the move would hurt hundreds of schools.
A student prepares to leave the Enterprise Attendance Center school southeast of Brookhaven, Miss., on Aug. 13, 2014.
Rogelio V. Solis/AP
School & District Management The State of Rural Schools, in Charts: Funding, Graduation Rates, Performance, and More
Rural schools receive less funding on average from states, but they still deal with the mental health and academic crises facing all schools.
Libby Stanford, November 20, 2023
5 min read
Students head to the cafeteria for lunch at Sandy Valley School in Sandy Valley, Nev., on March 30, 2022. The school is one of only a handful in the mostly urban Clark County School District to meet just four days a week.
Students head to the cafeteria for lunch at Sandy Valley School in Sandy Valley, Nev., on March 30, 2022.
Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP
School & District Management Report Outlines the Distinct Challenges Facing Rural Schools
They enroll more students than the 100 largest districts combined, but rural schools have higher operating costs and lower teacher pay.
Libby Stanford, November 16, 2023
6 min read
Principal Jonathan A.C. Apostol stands for a portrait at Monett Middle School in Monett, Mo., on Sept. 29, 2023.
Principal Jonathan A.C. Apostol stands for a portrait at Monett Middle School in Monett, Mo., on Sept. 29, 2023. The school started investing in student mental health services before the COVID-19 pandemic, and its new building includes a designated area for mental health counselors that doubles as a calming space for students.
Michael Noble Jr. for Education Week
Student Well-Being Rural Districts Get Creative Amid a Spike in Students’ Mental Health Needs
Rural districts don't have the same resources as more urban districts to scale up mental health services despite similar levels of need.
Libby Stanford, October 16, 2023
8 min read
Hands holding a monochromatic head shaped puzzle of a classroom with three colorful pieces of green grass, sunshine, and trees floating around the puzzle . Mental health concept.
Collage by Gina Tomko/Education Week (Images: iStock/Getty Images Plus)
Student Well-Being In This District, Students Are Part of the Mental Health Response
Lack of transportation, unreliable internet and other barriers can sometimes make it hard to find mental health care in rural settings.
Denisa R. Superville, June 5, 2023
5 min read
Digitally generated image of a forked road. It leads in two directions. One towards a bleak future where climate change has destroyed the enviroment. The other way shows a way towards prosperity with renewable energy and a sustainable climate. In the middle of the road stands a 3D-model person.
iStock/Getty
Science Rural Students Are More Skeptical of Climate Change. What Should Teachers Do?
Nearly 8 in 10 U.S. teenagers agree with the scientific consensus that climate change is real and mainly caused by human activity.
Arianna Prothero, April 6, 2023
2 min read
School nurse Heather Gordon checks the throat of 4th grader Isaac Vehikite, 10, at Elwood Intermediate School in Elwood, Ind., in 2016. Her camera relays images and information to a doctor who can make a remote diagnosis.
School nurse Heather Gordon checks the throat of 4th grader Isaac Vehikite, 10, at Elwood Intermediate School in Elwood, Ind., in 2016. Her camera relays the images and information to a doctor who makes the diagnosis.
John P. Cleary/The Herald-Bulletin via AP
Student Well-Being What the Research Says Telemedicine Could Help Keep Kids in Class
Schools' use of telehealth services expanded during the pandemic, and a study suggests it helps reduce absenteeism.
Sarah D. Sparks, January 13, 2023
3 min read
The main school building in Cabot, Vt., as seen on Oct. 13, 2022.
The main school building in Cabot, Vt., where a state-ordered environmental testing program found elevated levels of PCBs earlier this year.
Luke Awtry for Education Week
School & District Management PCBs' Presence Hits Hard for Rural Schools
A tiny school in northern Vermont is the test case for a statewide PCB testing program that has hit plenty of obstacles.
Mark Lieberman, October 27, 2022
6 min read
Long Lake Superintendent Noelle Short in front of Long Lake Central School in Long Lake, N.Y., on Sept. 1, 2022.
Noelle Short is the superintendent of a single-school district in upstate New York with fewer than 100 students.
Heather Ainsworth for Education Week
Education Funding In Their Own Words This Superintendent's Tiny, Rural District Got No COVID Aid. Here's Why That Hurts
The aid formula left Long Lake, N.Y., out of the mix. The superintendent worries that could happen for other kinds of aid in the future.
Mark Lieberman, September 6, 2022
3 min read
Montgomery County teacher and Kentucky Teacher of the Year, Willie Carver, in downtown Mt. Sterling, Ky., on May 11, 2022.
Willie Carver is the 2022 Kentucky Teacher of the Year and teaches high school English and French in the Montgomery County, Ky., public schools.
Arden Barnes for Education Week
Teaching Profession In Their Own Words 'I'm Afraid to Return to the Classroom': A Gay Teacher of the Year Speaks Out
Willie Carver, Jr., the 2022 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, is questioning his future as a teacher given recent anti-LGBTQ legislative efforts.
Madeline Will, May 12, 2022
8 min read
Susan Gilley, the executive director of federal programs and instructional technology for the  Harrison Public Schools in Harrison, Ark., created the GOBSmobile, a mobile learning library and STEM lab for students.
Susan Gilley, the executive director of federal programs and instructional technology for the Harrison Public Schools in Harrison, Ark., created the GOBSmobile, a mobile learning library and STEM lab for students.
Liz Sanders for Education Week
School & District Management Leader To Learn From A DIY Approach to Boost STEM Engagement in Rural Schools
Arkansas educator's technology integration and mobile STEM lab offer students better access during remote instruction and beyond.
Sarah D. Sparks, February 16, 2022
8 min read
Ben Thigpen, the superintendent of the Jones County school district in rural North Carolina, started a telemedicine program in partnership with East Carolina University to provide acute minor medical care and mental health and nutrition counseling to students and staff.
Ben Thigpen, the superintendent of the Jones County school district in rural North Carolina, partnered with East Carolina University to bring a telehealth program that provides acute minor medical care and mental health and nutrition counseling to the district's students and staff.
Alex Boerner for Education Week
School & District Management Leader To Learn From Health Care Was Hard to Come By. So This Superintendent Stepped Up
Ben Thigpen, the superintendent in rural Jones County, N.C., launched a telehealth program to improve medical care for students and staff.
Elizabeth Heubeck, February 16, 2022
8 min read
Screen Shot 2022 01 26 at 7.08.02 AM
Shutterstock
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion 5 Ways Rural School Leaders Can Create Workforce Opportunities for Students
The key to offering high-quality, work-based learning opportunities to students in rural areas is community building.
Charles V. Khoury, February 14, 2022
5 min read
Twin brothers John and Jonathan Easter walk together in their hometown of Bradley, Ark. a few weeks before they are going to begin college on July 30, 2021.
Twin brothers John and Jonathan Easter walk together in their hometown of Bradley, Ark. a few weeks before they are going to begin college on July 30, 2021.
April Kirby/For Education Week
College & Workforce Readiness Video Resilience, Faith, and Support: How Twin Brothers Forged Diverging Paths to College
Twin brothers from rural Arkansas reflect on their path to college in the midst of the pandemic.
Brooke Saias, September 21, 2021
1 min read