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Publication Title:

Why Rural Matters 2015-2016: Understanding the Changing Landscape


A Report by The Rural School and Community Trust and Partners: Institute for Child Success and Save the Children

Daniel Showalter, Ph.D.
Eastern Mennonite University

Robert Klein, Ph.D.
Ohio University

Jerry Johnson, Ed.D.
University of Central Florida, Institute for the Advancement of Research, Innovation and Practice in Rural Education

Sara L. Hartman, Ph.D.
Ohio University

Date: June 2017

Publication Type: Data Books Miscellaneous

Policy Area: Building Stronger Early Childhood Systems

Page Count: 164


The new edition of Why Rural Matters, from the nonprofit, nonpartisan Rural School and Community Trust, provides an overall “priority” ranking of the 50 states, showing the greatest needs in rural education. The report also ranks the states and includes state-by-state data on demographics and poverty, student achievement, state resources, and college and career readiness.


Rural schools offer many attributes of quality schools that parents want for their children: smaller settings, personal attention, and a strong sense of community and identity. But many rural schools and students face serious challenges, the report shows.


ICS is proud to have partnered with the Rural School and Community Trust on this report to highlight the needs of families with young children. Many rural communities still lack the high-quality pre-K, childcare, and Head Start programs that families badly need. Addressing early childhood learning and health can help taxpayers avoid tremendous costs in the long run.

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