Rural Education in the United States


Public schools can be classified as City, suburban, town, or rural depending on

their location. Each of these locales has unique characteristics.

In the 2010-11 school year, there were 49 million public school students. 24% of them, or 12 million students, attended rural schools.

32% of public schools were classified as rural that year. As were over half of public

school districts.

In the 2010-11 school year, about half of all public school students were White, compared to 71% of public school students in rural schools.

The percentage of children living in poverty in rural areas was similar to the nation as a whole. In a high poverty school, 75% or more of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

10% of rural students attended high poverty schools in 2010-11. In 2011, 70% of fourth graders in rural schools scored at or above Basic and reading and 27 percent scored at or above proficient in reading.

Turning to 8 th graders in rural schools, 78% scored at or above Basic in reading in 2011 and 31% percent scored at or above Proficient.

In 2011, 85% percent of fourth graders in rural schools scored at or above Basic in mathematics, and 36% scored at or above Proficient. Turning to eighth graders in rural schools, 77% scored at or above Basic in mathematics in 2011 and 28% scored at or above Proficient.

Finally, nearly 80% of rural public high school students graduated on time in 2008-9, which was a higher rate than the nation as a whole.





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