By Andrew Naughtie
The Independent (3/3/20)
Thanks to an under-the-radar bookkeeping change at the Department of Education, hundreds of rural schools across the US are set to lose vital funds.
As reported in the New York Times, the department has changed the eligibility criteria for the Rural and Low-Income School Programme, which provides funding for school districts in some of the poorest parts of the country.
The change will make it harder for districts to demonstrate their eligibility, meaning hundreds of them will lose tens of thousands of dollars – and in some cases much more.
Nearly a seventh of the US’s public school pupils live in rural school districts, which have long been poor and underfunded. Many depend on the programme to fund everything from anti-bullying initiatives to counselling to language lessons for non-English speakers.
To qualify for the programme, school districts must prove that at least 20 per cent of their area’s school-age children live in poverty. …