rural schools

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Low pay is being blamed for a teacher shortage in parts of rural Colorado.

As Colorado Public Radio reports, teachers’ salaries in rural Colorado can be over $20,000 lower than those in urban areas.

Mdnicholson42 / Wikimedia Commons

Rural school enrollment is on the decline in Oklahoma—and funding to rural communities is going down with it.

As The Tulsa World reports, small towns like the ones in Western Oklahoma receive a set amount of state funding per pupil. That means, when fewer students enroll, the schools and communities suffer.

CELIA LLOPIS-JEPSEN / KANSAS NEWS SERVICE

In his 26 years at Meade Unified School District 226, a 400-student district southwest of Dodge City, Superintendent Kenneth Harshberger has watched the educational landscape change. 
Teachers are harder to recruit — even for elementary jobs, which were traditionally easier to fill. 
“The first time I tried to hire an elementary teacher 25, 26 years ago, we had over 100 applicants,” he recalled. “Now I can’t get five applicants.” 

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Colorado lawmakers heard testimony Tuesday about the financial difficulties facing much of rural Colorado, which helped a bill aimed at preventing cuts to rural communities in the state pass its first test.

As The Denver Post reports, officials from rural schools, hospitals and business groups testified about the dire financial situation facing much of rural Colorado – a situation that they fear will only get worse in coming years.

Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post

The Colorado Legislature is proposing a major overhaul to the state’s budget, in a move that would redirect money toward rural schools and roads.

Chris Neal / Topeka Capital-Journal

In recent years, American schools have experienced a rising problem of kids missing too much school.

And, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Education, rates of chronic absenteeism are highest in rural areas.

CREDIT LARS P / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Two northwest Kansas superintendents are excited about the prospect of having their small school districts equipped with high-speed Internet.

Colorado Independent

Starting in January, Democrats will control Colorado’s State Board of Education for the first time in 50 years, reports Chalkbeat.

This is just the latest sign that, as HPPR has reported in the past, the former red state is now trending blue.

Alan Richard / Chalkbeat

Rural Americans were in large part responsible for handing Donald Trump the presidency. But will he do anything to improve rural schools?

RJ Sangosti / The Denver Post

Ever since the George W. Bush administration, the nation’s schools have been governed by strict federal laws. Now High Plains educators are wondering what exactly Donald Trump’s election will mean for rural schools.

No one’s sure exactly, though as Chalkbeat reports, leaders hoping for more control over public schools may get their wish.

Gotog / Getty Images

Rural schools have had their share of struggles in recent years. Populations in the heartland are dwindling, and school funding often goes to more populous schools in large urban centers.

McClean County Museum of History / Bloomington Pantagraph

One-room schoolhouses used to be the thriving heart of American agricultural communities. When children weren’t learning their three Rs, the buildings served as community centers and a town meeting place. Sadly, as reported by the Bloomington Pantagraph, most of these schools have gone the way of steam locomotives and wooden silos.  The closures began 70 years ago during the first wave of American public school consolidations.

Harvard Political Review

When it comes to public school coverage by the mainstream media, rural schools get the short end of the stick. David Gutierrez recently wrote about the problem for Harvard Political Review, explaining: “This disparity in media coverage is understandable. The crumbling infrastructure of cities, the poverty and segregation faced by inner-city students, and the presence of a school-to-prison pipeline are all serious problems that demand reforms. But . . .