ERIC Number: ED312120
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Mar-11
Reference Count: N/A
An Overview of the Small School District/Rural Education Factor in Washington State.
Swiger, John R.
Since 1965, Washington has recognized that small schools need special financial consideration if their students are to receive educational opportunities comparable to those in larger districts. In 1977, after school districts brought suit against the state for failing fully to fund basic education, the state legislature passed the Basic Education Act, which placed new program and funding requirements on school district operations. In 1989 small school districts continue to receive enhanced funding to maintain parity with other schools. Although more dollars per pupil are spent, problems in providing equal opportunity for rural students persist. A statistical profile shows Washington to contain districts with quite varied needs. The state funds an average of 80% of the districts' costs of maintenance and operations, in accord with provisions of the state funding formula. Since enrollments in many small school districts are low, the formula is adjusted to determine certificated and classified staff units. The additional funding to small districts, however, has allowed some of them to save excess sums. For others, the added funds have not kept pace with the demands of equal educational opportunities. Difficulties include: (1) shortages of administrative and teaching staff; (2) increased graduation requirements; (3) professional isolation of school practitioners; and (4) the emergence of at-risk youth and lack of resources to deal with the problem. Although some remedies to financial problems can be found by generating cooperative efforts with business, such arrangements do not lessen the need to consider small schools in the overall state apportionment formula. (TES)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Washington Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Olympia.
Identifiers - Location: Washington