Report Shows Many Challenges Rural Schools Face In Arizona

Published: Monday, June 26, 2017 - 3:32pm
Updated: Monday, June 26, 2017 - 3:37pm

In the debate about education in our state, schools outside of the big cities often get overlooked.

But a new report from the Rural School and Community Trust shows that when it comes to rural schools in Arizona, there are many challenges.

The report found more than half of all of Arizona’s rural student population are minorities. We have a high percentage of English Language Learner students, and seven in 10 rural students in our state live in poverty. And, at the same time, spending on instruction per student here is the second lowest in the nation.

I spoke with Don German more about the results of this report. He’s the executive director of the Arizona Rural Schools Association. And he says many of our rural schools are in farming communities, where English is a second language for many students. And, with a statewide teacher shortage, rural schools are in an even tougher spot.

German lives in Salome, about 40 miles from the California border and he’s spent his entire teaching career in Arizona in rural schools.

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