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In December's Whole Child Podcast, we learned more about how we can work at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure that each rural student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. Rural schools are very diverse—ethnically, socioeconomically, and geographically—and often face a complex set of challenges. In the United States, about 15–20 percent of the rural population lives in poverty, which is 5 percent more than in urban areas. Not only is the rural poverty rate growing, but it has exceeded the urban rates since the 1960s.
Our guests shared their research and experience to help us understand the diversity of this population of ten million students, nearly one fifth of the U.S. student population. We heard from
- Rachel Tompkins, immediate past president and senior fellow with The Rural School and Community Trust, and
- Dr. Jim Holloway, assistant secretary, Rural Education Division, with the New Mexico Public Education Department.
Extend your learning with the Why Rural Matters 2009: State and Regional Challenges and Opportunities report and New Mexico Public Education Department Rural Education Initiative resources.
What are the challenges rural schools and communities in your state or territory face as they try to ensure a whole child education? What policies and practices have been effective in ensuring rural school children are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged? Share your thoughts on the Whole Child Blog.