The Rural Perspective on Educational Adequacy

Last Updated: July 28, 2005

Providing Rural Students with a High Quality Education

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News Release
New Report Offers Methods to Ensure a High Quality Education for Rural Students

CONTACT: Rural Trust Communications, 202-822-3919

As states across the nation set high academic standards and commit themselves to the idea that all children can succeed in public schools, a new issue has emerged in state policy debates: How much does it cost to offer all students the opportunity to obtain a high quality education? This so called "educational adequacy" movement is rapidly gaining momentum. But while the drive for educational adequacy is laudable, its ultimate success for rural students will only be realized if state policymakers pay particular attention to the unique circumstances and needs of rural communities, schools, and students.

A new publication from the Rural School and Community Trust, Providing Rural Students with a High Quality Education: The Rural Perspective on the Concept of Educational Adequacy by Gregory C. Malhoit, outlines the specifics of what such a perspective on educational adequacy entails for policymakers, education leaders, and school finance advocates. While the report embraces the thinking behind educational adequacy, it urges researchers and school funding reform advocates to begin using the phrase "high quality education," because it more aptly describes quality schooling and it will resonate better with rural people and the broader public.

Acknowledging that rural parents, students, and community groups can add valuable information to discussions about educational adequacy within a rural context, the Rural Trust convened a meeting of five leading state-level rural advocacy organizations to cull their knowledge and experience in order to make a statement about educational adequacy in rural places. The report is based upon the views of this group, collectively referred to as the Rural Equity Collaborative Group.

Information included in the report includes:
  • The unique characteristics of rural communities that require a greater investment of resources, as well as specific attention from a high quality education system;
  • The underlying principles of a high quality rural education program; and
  • The educational strategies and components that answer the singular needs of rural schools that should be incorporated into any adequate education.

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