ERIC Number: ED459969
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Rural School Busing. ERIC Digest.
Howley, Aimee; Howley, Craig
This digest summarizes information suggesting that long bus rides are part of the hidden costs of school and district consolidation. Rural school districts spend more than twice per pupil what urban districts spend on transportation. A review of studies shows that rural school children were more likely than suburban school children to have bus rides of 30 minutes or longer, and that their rides were more arduous, traversing poorer roads and rougher terrain. Rural elementary children were more likely to be placed on buses with middle and high school students. A rural Quebec study found that long bus rides reduced the number and variety of household activities and reduced students' sleep time, recreational time, academic attentiveness, and extracurricular participation. One might theorize that by removing rural children and their activities, rural school busing erodes the "social capital" of rural communities. A 5-state study found that almost all rural children experienced one-way bus rides of more than 30 minutes, and approximately one quarter experienced one-way rides of more than 60 minutes. Another study found that impoverished rural schools had longer rides than more affluent rural schools. Research is needed on the relationship of long rides to student achievement. Given that rural students in impoverished areas confront longer rides, longer rides are a function of larger attendance areas, and smaller size benefits poorer students, it seems unlikely that longer rides constitute an academic benefit for poor students and communities. (Contains 15 references.) (TD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Bus Transportation, Consolidated Schools, Disadvantaged Youth, Elementary Secondary Education, Poverty Areas, Rural Schools, School Districts, Socioeconomic Status, Student Transportation
ERIC/CRESS, P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325. Tel 800-624-9120 (Toll Free). For full text: http://www.ael.org/eric/digests/edorc01-7.htm.
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.