Federal Aid to Rural Schools: Current Patterns and Unmet Needs

by Gail V. Bass-Golod, Paul Berman

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Reports the results of a pilot study designed to test whether rural school districts receive a "fair share" of federal aid. The study consists of a quantitative analysis of funds distribution and a qualitative exploration of the special needs and disadvantages of rural school systems. The quantitative analysis examines for six states the distribution of Fiscal Year 1977 funds between rural and nonrural school districts for two state-administered federal programs (ESEA Title IVB and Title IVC). It compares funding patterns using four alternative definitions of ruralness. The qualitative discussion identifies some characteristics of sparsely populated rural school districts that (1) hamper efforts to maintain adequate programs or to improve the quality of schooling, and (2) might be amenable, either directly or indirectly, to federal policies. It also examines several possible strategies for attacking the special problems of rural school systems.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

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