A new report by the National Charter School Resource Center examines the unique position of rural charter schools across America.
Citing a lack of research on the subject, as well as the demand for more examples of successful practice, the authors identify some of the unique difficulties that rural charter schools face: attracting and holding onto diverse local talent, paying to transport students over large distances, and maintaining and securing school facilities.
These challenges are often more acute for rural charter schools than their urban counterparts. There are hidden costs to teachers living and working in rural areas, such as a lack of suitable housing, professional growth opportunities, and good transportation. Providing transportation to students in areas with few alternative options may be prohibitively expensive. Simply locating appropriate buildings in which to operate a charter school is usually easier in an urban environment, where disused structures are more frequently available. When rural charters need to construct their own, costs rise exponentially.
Using examples in five states, the authors showcase a handful of rural charters that have overcome this adversity by using their position to their advantage.
- Having struggled to retain good staff, the remote Upper Carmen Charter School in Idaho...