Searching for Rural School Justice

Marty Strange, Co-Founder of the Center for Rural Affairs and current policy director for Rural School and Community Trust, posted on their Rural Matters blog. The topic: rural schools, funding, and the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Average salary for a full-time teacher in rural Nebraska schools is eighth lowest in the nation for rural teachers and far below the average salary of non-rural Nebraska teachers. Teacher turnover rate in rural Nebraska is about 12 percent and only 28 percent of teachers have a master’s degree, compared to 44 percent nationwide and 48 percent in non-rural Nebraska. Nearly one-third of Nebraska’s rural teachers are assigned to teach a course they are not prepared to teach.

The state provides only 34 percent of the funding for schools, a level of state aid that is tragically low and woefully inadequate. Only Illinois, Nevada, and South Dakota provide less.

The plaintiffs claim the constitutional mandate to educate does not apply only to students in large, easily accessible, and prosperous places. It applies to those in remote, challenging locations, living in poverty, suffering disabling conditions, and learning English.

Read the rest here. On our website you can find lots more on rural schools including policy proposals and reports.

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