Page 30

ACEF Journal Vol 3 Issue 1 December 2012

Educational Equity in Rural Schools capacity). However, the proportion of secondary schools experiencing under-enrollment in the next five years will not differ by the percentage of low-income students in the school (p > .05). Table 3 Secondary School Building Utilization by School Characteristics School Under-Enrolled Enrollment within Over-Crowded Characteristics 25%+ 6-25% 5% of capacity 25%+ 6-25% n % n % n % n % n % Region West 52 89.7 3 5.2 1 1.7 2 3.4 0 0.0 Central 39 83.0 8 17.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 East 12 60.0 5 25.0 1 5.0 1 0.0 2 10.0 Percentage of low- income students Less than 20% 14 66.7 5 23.8 1 4.8 0 0.0 1 4.8 20-29% 25 75.8 5 15.2 1 3.0 2 6.1 0 0.0 30-39% 36 94.7 2 5.3 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 40% and above 28 88.8 4 12.1 0 0.0 0 0.0 1 3.0 All Rural Schools 103 82.4 16 12.8 2 1.6 2 1.6 2 1.6 Note: 1. “Under-enrolled” indicates that the capacity of the school buildings is greater than student enrollment by more than 5%. 2. “Over-crowded” indicates that the enrollment of the school is greater than the capacity of the school buildings by more than 5%. 3. Percentages are computed across each row, but may not total100 when rounding. 4. “n” represents the numbers of school districts. One small rural school district has only one building, which was already analyzed in the table 2. The total number of school district is 125. Policy Considerations The issue of adequate access to education in rural areas is one of great concern to policy makers. As more students enter U.S. schools, the population is changing rapidly in many districts. Yet, as school buildings age, districts are budgeting less on maintenance than they have in the past (Lawrence, 2003). State policy makers and school districts all have an important role to play in building effective rural schools. However, the discussions need to be more inclusive. The departments of health and environmental quality, and members of state legislature must be involved as well as local education agencies, parents, and local health officials in the conversations about creating standards for school buildings (Watts Hull, 2009). Based on the findings of this study, this section puts forth policy considerations that state policymakers can take to improve the rural school building conditions. Effectively monitoring and regularly assessing school building conditions. While the majority of rural schools in the survey reported that their school building conditions were satisfactory, a sizable minority reported their building conditions were unsatisfactory. December 2012 / ACEF 30


ACEF Journal Vol 3 Issue 1 December 2012
To see the actual publication please follow the link above