ERIC Number: ED473971
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Feb-5
Reference Count: N/A
The State of Rural Education in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 2003. Presented to the House Education Committee.
Pennsylvania is the third most rural state in the nation. The recession of the 1980s devastated the rural economy, leading to a brain drain from rural areas. Nevertheless, there's much that's right about rural schools. Rural schools have pioneered the use of distance education technology. Staff remain in rural schools because they like the surroundings, want to be near family, and like the sense of community. Dropout rates are lower in rural school districts. Education has been centralized through consolidation and statewide testing, but the core of rural education is community, which cannot be tested. The shortage of administrators is widespread. Teacher shortages are most evident in rural areas in the state's interior, especially among special education staff. The cost of special education has increased by 3000 percent since 1971, and vocational education costs have become prohibitive for some districts. The list of things schools are expected to be accountable for grows continually, yet time and funding are not increasing. Rural districts do not have the funding base to cover these costs. The state's funding system has changed every year since 1991, leaving some rural school districts to defend themselves by not spending. The lack of community colleges in rural Pennsylvania has prompted some districts to contract with out-of-state community colleges to provide courses. The expense of postsecondary education is becoming prohibitive for rural students, and the state college system is their only means of entering into higher education. (TD)
Descriptors: Accountability, Educational Equity (Finance), Educational Finance, Elementary Secondary Education, Financial Problems, Postsecondary Education, Rural Economics, Rural Schools, School Community Relationship, School Districts, Special Education, Teacher Shortage, Vocational Education
For full text: http://www.parss.org/bulletin/hillman_presentation.asp.
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania