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 49,000,000
public school students. Twenty-four percent of them, or 12 million students, attended
rural schools. Thirty-two percent 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 percent 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 percent or more
of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Ten percent of rural students attended
high-poverty schools in 2010-11. In 2011, 70 percent of 4 th graders in rural
schools scored at or above Basic in reading and 27 percent scored at or above Proficient
in reading. Turning to 8 th graders in rural schools,
78 percent scored at or above Basic in reading in 2011 and 31 percent scored at or above
Proficient. In 2011, 85 percent of 4 th graders in rural
schools scored at or above Basic in mathematics and 36 percent scored at or above Proficient. Turning to 8th graders in rural schools, 77
percent scored at or above Basic in mathematics in 2011 and 28 percent scored at or above
Proficient. Finally, nearly 80 percent of rural public
high school students graduated on time in 2008-09, which was a higher rate than the
nation as a whole. For more information, please visit our website
at NCES dot ED dot Gov.

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