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Family farmers call for tougher CAFO regulations in Farm Bill; The Midwest and Northeast brace for record high temperature in heatwave; Financial-justice advocates criticize crypto regulation bill; Ohio advocates: New rules strengthen protections for sexual-assault victims.

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The RNC kicks off its election integrity effort, Democrats sound a warning bell about conservatives' Project 2025, and Republicans suggest funding cuts to jurisdictions with legal cases against Trump.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Report: Rural Idaho sees struggles in education compared with nation

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Thursday, January 11, 2024   

A new report highlights Idaho's need to focus on rural education during the upcoming legislative session.

The National Rural Education Association's Why Rural Matters 2023 ranks Idaho in the bottom half of states for its support of rural students.

Executive Director of the National Rural Education Association, Allen Pratt, said a few of the data points show where the state is struggling.

"You can look at things like the number of students per school counselor or school psychologist - that's always a big issue," said Pratt. "So, it's 387 to one. So one guidance counselor or school psych to 387 students. That's a pretty high number."

In his State of the State address on Monday, Gov. Brad Little said education should be among the top priorities for legislators this session.

Idaho also ranked low in measures such as the percentage of rural school-aged children who lack health insurance, which was nearly 10%.

Idaho's lowest marker was for the amount of instructional money spent per rural student. Allen said the state ranks last.

"You're looking at $4,900-per-pupil instructional expenditure," said Pratt. "That's kind of alarming."

While the report shows there's room for improvement, Allen noted that there are some highlights for Idaho.

The state ranks high for the number of high school students who graduate compared with their urban and suburban counterparts, for example.




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