ERIC Number: ED308059
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Dec
Economic Support for Education in Rural School Districts. ERIC Digest.
This ERIC digest synthesizes research characterizing the economic climate in which rural schools operate and reports on the traditional strategies used to create greater economic support for rural school districts. The benefits of steady urban economic growth have not been shared, generally, by rural areas; this has led to inadequate financial support for rural schools. While state aid may come via foundation programs, rural disparities have been most consistently reduced in states that adopted power equalization programs that guarantee minimum revenues (Jess, 1980). Federal funds help lessen rural discrepancies, but do not close the gap (Orland, 1988). Further, state and federal contributions often are tied to programs that may be difficult for rural districts to implement. Rural schools have been faulted for inefficiency because their per-pupil expenditures were viewed as being too high, leading to the emerging view that rural and small schools are inherently more expensive. To fund and preserve rural schools, some observers have proposed a typology that accounts for diversity among all school districts (Augenblick & Nachtigal, 1985). It is suggested that government equalization initiatives fail because their mandates impose burdens that are out of scale to their benefits. Many educators overcome rural disparity by addressing the social context within which rural schools operate. The common theme in these approaches is that it is impossible for rural schools to deliver the same services in the same ways as other schools, since the economic support and community will necessary to meet expectations may not exist. This digest includes 10 references. (TES)
Descriptors: Change Strategies, Educational Equity (Finance), Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Aid, Financial Support, Government Role, Resource Allocation, Rural Areas, Rural Education, Rural Schools, Rural Urban Differences, School Districts, Socioeconomic Influences, State Aid
ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Appalachia Educational Laboratory, Inc., P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325 (free).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Charleston, WV.