Department of Educational Administration


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Published in Women as School Executives: Celebrating Diversity, ed. Danna M. Beaty, Whitney H. Sherman, Ava J. Munoz, Shirley J. Mills, & Anita M. Pankake, The Texas Council of Women School Executives Monograph, 2008.


©2008 The Texas Council of Women School Executives


Rural education is an important part of the American educational system. As noted in the Rural Trust report, Why Rural Matters 2003: The Continuing Need for Every State to Take Action on Rural Education: "Forty~three percent of the nation's public schools are in rural communities or small towns of fewer than 25,000 people, and 31 percent of the nation's children attend these schools". Rural schools are facing a number of challenges. Common concerns among rural schools are poverty, changing demographics, and declining numbers. They are also faced with the issues of accountability and mandates from No Child Left Behind. The challenges are not unique to rural schools; however, the means of addressing the challenges differ between rural and urban. Rural schools often have fewer resources, fewer community support systems, and fewer financial avenues available to them. The ability of rural schools to successfully meet these challenges as well as others that may hinder student learning lies within the strength of the school's leadership.