ERIC Number: ED209009
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Oct-11
Reference Count: 0
The Roots of Rural Educational Inequity-or How Country Folks Get Whipsawed and Bushwhacked.
Hearn, Norman E.
Cultural biases about rural schools and people have influenced rural education, public policies, and distribution of funds away from areas where they are most needed. Policymakers have regarded the rural school's condition (sparsity, isolation, smallness, limited economic base) in negative terms, resulting in public policies that ignored, neglected, or eliminated rural schools. Policy makers have arranged priorities by numbers, by which rural schools appear less cost-effective and are ineligible for grants. Additionally, the 11,000 local education agencies (LEAs) with enrollment under 1500 may not have received information about financial opportunities, technical assistance, promising research, and successful practices because grants and assistance agencies felt it was not feasible to notify so many. Small and rural LEAs often lack financial ability to make commitments for "matching funds,""full-time staff," or "short-term phase-in" which may be given special consideration in funding. Specifications for grants may be so complex that school administrators may be intimidated from applying. Additionally, rural schools may be in communities too homogeneous to qualify for some grants or may lack personnel who can be committed to projects without sharing other duties. Finally, experts who evaluate proposals often represent large, prestigious institutions that are likely to be out of touch and out of sympathy with rural America. (AW)
Descriptors: Cost Effectiveness, Cultural Isolation, Educational Finance, Educational Needs, Educational Policy, Educational Quality, Equal Education, Federal Aid, Financial Policy, Needs Assessment, Political Influences, Resource Allocation, Rural Areas, Rural Education, Rural Schools, School Districts, School Funds, Small Schools, Social Bias
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Rural Education Association (Tucson, AZ, October 11-13, 1981).