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Report finds rural schools struggling with growing poverty and population loss

Aug 11, 2017 6:50 am
Bethany Bump is reporting in the Times Union on the condition of the state's rural public schools as described by the New York State Association of School Business Officials in a report released this week. The association found that over the past 10 years, rural schools have been under the dual strain of falling enrollment and rising poverty. Nearly 85 percent of the state's rural schools have seen enrollment drop by 10 percent or more over the past decade, while the rate of student poverty grew 4 percentage points to 17.7 percent. Enrollment in rural schools in the Capital Region has declined by 11 percent during that time period. The Association said shared services, distance learning and increased partnerships with BOCES and community agencies could help rural schools to survive. And the state could revamp its school funding formula and promote mandate relief. Improving broadband in rural communities would broaden academic and social opportunities for students, the report notes, while boosting local businesses and industry. Read the full story in the Times Union.