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NEA Issue Explainer

Rural Schools

Schools in rural areas need reliable funding to provide students with the support, classes, activities, and technology that will ensure a well-rounded education.
farmer and students National School to Farm Network
A farmer with students.
Published: 12/02/2021
This issue explainer originally appeared on

Nearly 10 million students attend a rural school, but students and educators in these schools face many unique challenges.

While federal laws such as the Secure Rural Schools program and the Rural Education Achievement Program provide critical support for many of the more than 7,700 rural school districts, these programs must be improved. 

Policy makers should do more to ensure that all students in rural communities realize their basic right to a great public education. 

Ready to stand up for public schools?

We need to build our communities. We need to fully fund public schools. We need to hold our elected leaders accountable to the people. And we need your help to make it happen.
ISEA members pose with signs as they advocate for students. One says "We'd rather being teaching, but this is important." Another says, "It's time to use our outside voices."

Active anywhere decisions impact our students.

From the School Board to the Statehouse or even the White House, ISEA members make our collective voice heard on a host of issues that impact our students, educators, and communities.

Learn more about what we're doing to improve the lives of our students, educators, and families.


Leading in our schools, communities, and state.

The Iowa State Education Association works to promote, advance, and protect public education, the education profession, and the rights and interests of our members. When you join the ISEA, you’re joining forces with the power and influence of 3.2 million members nationwide.