The only organization dedicated solely to helping state boards advance equity and excellence in public education.

January 2021Volume 21, No. 1
Equity in Rural Education


Rural schools are the heart of community life, but they face significant challenges that the pandemic has only magnified. The January 2021 issue explores the state board of education and policymaker role in many of these factors: a lack of resources, cultural and virtual isolation, poverty and demographic trends, educator recruitment and retention, and risks to student health and well-being.


Equity in Rural Education



Identifying Risks to the Well-Being of Rural Young Children and Families

By Sara L. Hartman

The pandemic compounded an array of preexisting health and wellness challenges in many communities.





Teacher Recruitment and Retention in Rural Colorado

By Kirk Banghart

Rural districts band together, with help from partners and grants, to attract and keep teaching staff.





Colorado’s Network for Local Accountability

By Kirk Banghart

A network of rural peers help districts design meaningful, timely, community-connected accountability.





Professional Learning in Appalachia

By Melissa Tooley and Sabia Prescott

Microcredentials show promise in overcoming the challenges of offering rural educators high-quality opportunities.






Challenges Facing Schools in Rural America

By Mara Casey Tieken and MK Montgomery

In schools accustomed to making a little go a long way, the pandemic increased the burden.





Online Learning for Rural Students

By Reg Leichty

Expanded rural broadband service can help overcome inequitable access to digital instruction.







Featured Items

Engaging All Students

Authors explore the reasons why students increasingly feel uninspired and disengaged at school and outline steps state leaders can take to help schools and districts increase students’ engagement and connectedness.
Image Credit: iStock i

Beyond Testing for Lead in Drinking Water: Implications for Funding

While most states encourage or require schools to test for lead in drinking water, funding to sustain remediation lags—despite significant federal grants designed to boost those efforts.

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