The U.S. Department of Education recently published the Section 5005 Final Report on Rural Education (also known as the “Rural Report”). The Rural Report outlines actions the Department will take to meaningfully increase the involvement of rural schools and school districts in helping develop and execute Department processes, procedures, policies and regulations.

Congress mandated that the Department produce this report in Section 5005 of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which became law on Dec. 10, 2015. This section of the ESSA requires the Department to

review the organization, structure, and process and procedures of the Department of Education for administering its programs and developing policy and regulations, in order to—

(A) assess the methods and manner through which, and the extent to which, the Department of Education takes into account, considers input from, and addresses the unique needs and characteristics of rural schools and rural local educational agencies; and

(B) determine actions that the Department of Education can take to meaningfully increase the consideration and participation of rural schools and rural local educational agencies in the development and execution of the processes, procedures, policies, and regulations of the Department of Education.

ED issued the preliminary version of this report and published a Federal Register Request for Information on Dec. 20, 2017. The Department accepted public comment through Feb. 20, 2018. This request for public comment was the subject of a previous Homeroom post.

In addition to the actions noted above, the Rural Report contains the results of a self-assessment, a description of ED’s efforts to solicit and incorporate input from and address the unique needs of rural schools and other information relevant to rural education.


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