ALBANY, NY (08/08/2017) (readMedia)-- The New York State Association of School Business Officials (NYSASBO) has released a brief report entitled Demographic Challenges Facing Rural Schools: Declining Populations and Growing Poverty. The report analyzes demographic trends in New York State to highlight the challenges facing rural school districts and their communities.
Sustained enrollment declines and increasing student poverty have placed enormous strain on rural schools.
Over the past ten years, 84.9 percent of rural schools have suffered enrollment decreases of at least 10 percent, while the poverty rate for rural school students grew from 13.7 percent to 17.7 percent. Other demographic changes, such as an increasing share of state population over 55 (increasing from 24.4% in 2000 to 33.4% in 2016), is another challenge for rural communities.
"The challenges facing rural school districts and their communities requires a comprehensive approach from state policymakers that recognizes their unique needs and limitations," stated Michael J. Borges, NYSASBO Executive Director.
"The state needs to provide targeted incentives and remove road blocks to collaborative efforts that seek to create a more efficient and effective educational framework for rural school students," concluded Mr. Borges.
ASBO supports regional high schools, the utilization of BOCES and other shared service models, distance/online learning among other proposals to assist rural schools in providing a quality education to their students in a cost effective manner.