Demographic Changes in Rural America and the Implications for Special Education Programming: A Descriptive and Comparative Analysis
In this descriptive and comparative study, we present results highlighting the complexity and scope of the challenges facing rural districts as they navigate the changing demographics of the students and families they serve. Rapid increases in the number and concentration of racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse students in rural areas may have significant implications for teaching and learning. In the face of these changes, rural districts may lack the financial, human, and logistical resources to meet these increasing demands. Viewed within the context of the salient literatures and attentive to the dynamics of organizational change, the results support recommendations for a variety of school- and district-based strategies and send a clear message to policymakers, educators, and others concerned with the education of rural youth, rural families, and rural communities: the need is real and growing in intensity, and there is a role and responsibility for all stakeholders to play.
Rural Special Education Quarterly, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 140-149.