There is a lack of agreement on exactly what is meant by the term rural. A single designation may be used for an entire school district, even though the district may cover hundreds of square miles and include population groupings of various sizes. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than half of all school districts in the United States are in areas designated as rural, serving nearly a quarter of all students.

Since rural can be defined as not near a metropolitan area, the issue in the education of gifted learners is a lack of proximity to a broad selection of cultural events, lack of available mentors, distance from institutions of higher education, and the limitations of small schools in offering a broad ...

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