ERIC Number: ED319577
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
The Condition of Rural Education in Virginia: A Profile.
Coe, Pam; And Others
Of Virginia's 139 school districts (which are called "divisions"), 75 (or 54%) are classified as rural. A rural school district is defined as one in which 75% or more of the population lives outside Standard Metropolitan Areas or in which student density if less than or equal to 10 pupils per square mile. While there are large metropolitan areas situated near Norfolk, Roanoke, Richmond, and Washington, D.C., the state is predominantly rural. Virginia school legislation does not specify policies for rural education different from those for urban and suburban education. A revised funding formula, however, was implemented in 1987, taking into account the higher than normal per-pupil instructional and transportation costs associated with population sparsity. The state-supported system of distance learning is specifically designed to assist rural schools provide educational programs that they otherwise could not afford. The "Standards of Quality" are used to determine the minimum program of high quality education that must be offered by all school divisions. In general, most rural school students begin the day with a fairly long bus ride, may have parents who are unemployed or underemployed, are more likely to need special education services, score lower on achievement tests, are less likely to be classified as gifted than urban students, and are likely to have parents who did not graduate from high school or have only a high school education. Rural school districts differ from their urban counterparts by containing smaller numbers of schools and students and having less adequate of funding. When school districts are ranked by quartiles based on student density, the least dense quartile is shown to have the lowest average personal income: approximately three-fifths of the average personal income of the most dense quartile of districts. The Commonwealth of Virginia is making a concerted effort to equalize educational opportunities throughout the state, taking into account the difficulties and additional costs of providing quality education in isolated, rural areas. This document contains statistical data and 16 references. (ALL)
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, Rural Areas, Rural Education, Rural Schools, Rural Urban Differences, Rural Youth, School Districts, School Law, State Legislation, State Standards, Student Characteristics
Appalachia Educational Laboratory, P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Appalachia Educational Lab., Charleston, WV.
Identifiers - Location: Virginia