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Many legal and policy issues face rural public schools. These challenges are also somewhat related to the issues facing urban schools, including poverty, increasing populations of English language learners (ELLs) and newcomers, and political isolation. However, others are specific to rural schools, including a shortage of resources, funding inequities, and changing demographics, as described in this entry.

Definition Issues

First, the term rural, which is monolithic neither as a taxonomical classification nor as a political economy, encompasses many political ecologies and arenas within one classification. The issues facing rural schools in states with high percentages of private ownership of lands and with an evenly dispersed population in southeastern or midwestern states may be very different from those facing western states.

In the West, a high percentage of ...

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