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Issues and Challenges Present in Urban Versus Rural School Districts

Lower levels of achievement are an issue that has been cited by researchers to be affecting both urban and rural schools. Children from ethnic minority backgrounds have differing pre-school preparations and tend to be underachievers as compared to their colleagues from white communities who start from Kindergartens. Childhood poverty is also a problem that has been identified in both rural and urban schools. It has been argued that underachievement in rural schools is mainly caused by poverty and not race factors. According to Truscott (2005), children of African American ethnicity in rural schools are poorer than those who are in urban schools. Poverty is the cause of dropout rates in both rural and urban schools especially with the increasing economic hardship children from ethnic minorities drop out before completing high school. Chances of getting jobs are slim with those who drop out.

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Resegregation is a major challenge in urban schools. This has been attributed to social and political decisions. Besides, immigration is also to be blamed for the problem.

Out-migration is a problem in rural schools because they lose talents and great potentials. Some schools have been forced to close as students migrate to other parts of the country. Outmigration is the main cause of population losses in rural schools. These schools also experience consolidation pressure and also another form of pressure coming from the government for them to meet the testing mandate. (Renfro,2003)

The issue of consolidation arising from population losses results in poor performance because of the transport problem. Students are meant to travel long distances to school and they end up tired and not doing well at school according to educators. West Virginia is the state worst hit by the transportation problem and this has negatively impacted negatively on the academics of students.

Both urban and rural schools face financial constraints. This has resulted in more taxation to meet their financial needs. For instance, schools in rural areas with low populations require more security than those with larger populations. Urban schools are faced with numerous financial constraints and a lack of materials for teaching. Funding from the government is not forthcoming, especially in rural schools. This is because it is based on the politics of the country.

Shortages of qualified teachers are an issue affecting schools in rural and urban areas. There seems to be a challenge in retaining teachers in rural and urban schools because of the limited financial resources available. The lack of materials coupled with financial constraints is to be blamed for the movement of teachers in such for better, resources and rewards in their teaching profession. The urban schools have poor administrative and parental support towards education. It seems that the various stakeholders in education have ignored their roles to support learning in the schools. (Truscott, 2005)

Issues in our schools have an impact on the community and the country at large.

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The effect of poverty is felt at school and as more students continue to drop out, the rates of unemployment in the states are ever on the rise. This has resulted in increased levels of crime, especially in urban areas. This is because most of the people who drop out do not find employment and hence they must find a means of surviving thus resorting to crime. Childhood poverty as a challenge in both urban and rural schools has affected performance because of the poor preparation during preschool. Some parents are faced with economic hardships and cannot afford to pay for preschool education in Kindergartens. (Truscott,2005),

The inability of schools to retain qualified teachers due to the limited resources has had an impact on education both in rural and urban centers. Schools are being affected because they are forced to look for unlicensed teachers. This has negatively affected academic performance in most states. The students are affected because of a lack of the required expertise to facilitate their studies.

Financial constraints especially in urban schools have led to a lot of pressure on the available school facilities which have to cater to all the students and teachers. These constraints impact negatively the morale of both students and teachers. Excellent results cannot be expected out of such stretched facilities and resources. (Truscott, 2005),

The issue of consolidation of schools that is common in the rural school setting has had a negative impact on the students because of the long and tiring journeys the students have to travel before reaching school. The transport problems have resulted in underachievement in the rural schools. Most parents from rural areas cannot afford the increasing costs of transport resulting from the consolidation of schools. (Strange,2005)

Out-migration is a matter of great concern because it affects individual schools and the community. Schools are at the threat of closure due to persistent movements by students. The school and the community lose in terms of great potentials that would have pushed the performance to higher standards. The rural areas where students move remain underdeveloped because the young and qualified people cannot be found o initiate development. (Strange, 2005).


Renfro L. The Urban Teacher Struggle. (cover story). Teaching Music [serial online]. 2003;11(2):36-40.

Strange M, Silverman F. All Alone. (cover story). District Administration [serial online]. 2005;41(10):32-35.

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Truscott D, Truscott S. Differing Circumstances, Shared Challenges: Finding Common Ground Between Urban and Rural Schools. Phi Delta Kappan [serial online]. 2005;87(2):123-130.

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StudyCorgi. "Issues and Challenges Present in Urban Versus Rural School Districts." October 28, 2021.


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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Issues and Challenges Present in Urban Versus Rural School Districts'. 28 October.

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