January 17, 2018
By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association
Nearly nine million students attend rural schools — more than the enrollments of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and the nation’s next 75 largest school districts combined. These students in Michigan and around the county face similar challenges, like limited access to advanced coursework, medical care, internet access and employment opportunities.
A report recently released by the American Association of School Administrators (ASSA) and the Rural School and Community Trust highlighted these issues and more faced by rural communities in ensuring students get the quality education they deserve.
On my “Listening Tour” across the state, I’ve spoken with many rural educators about the challenges they face: lower salaries; lack of access to professional development opportunities; professional isolation; preparation for multiple subjects and grade levels as well as multiple extracurricular duties. We must address these challenges so rural schools can continue to retain and attract high quality educators.