RSA was recently asked by the Georgia School Boards Association to facilitate a task force on rural school issues. Together, RSA and GSBA developed a plan to allow Georgia’s rural schools to identify and record their challenges, discuss them and develop recommendations to be presented to state policy makers. The group took their first step this past weekend, when they gathered in Savannah for a facilitated discussion, led by RSA’s Dave Little. Having identified the issues, representative superintendents and school board members will now be chosen for the task force that will work to develop programs and policies to address them. Interestingly, despite the fact that Georgia spends about half of what New York State does on rural students and that Georgia operates county wide school districts that contain both rural, suburban and often urban schools, the problems facing rural schools in the two states appear almost identical: poverty, inability to raise sufficient revenue to meet educational needs, student transience, transportation. Once RSA has worked through this process with the Georgia schools, it plans to use the process as a template to focus on New York’s rural school district issues. You can watch an interview with Dave here.